As many are aware we have some birdwatchers who are social members and come and watch from the corner, or watch the bird feeders they have put up beyond the Flying 15 area. We have asked John one of the regulars to let us know what they see. The Terns are nesting on the raft so please give that a good berth (they will let you know if you get to close!). If you want to know more stop and ask John is always willing to talk about what is down, let you look through the scope etc, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
APRIL 2022: This is always a month when lots of birds are migrating and there were some quality sightings. A Marsh Harrier flew north-east on the 4th followed by a second individual seen on the 19th. Sandwich Tern is always a notable species to see in the county and a single was observed on the 11th with two briefly on the following day. A group of three Avocets were a nice sight on the 11th. A party of 14 Whooper Swans on their way back to their breeding grounds in Iceland flew over the Sailing Lake on the 12th. A single adult Whooper Swan has been seen throughout the month with the resident Mute Swan flock. It appears to have a damaged wing and whilst it can fly it is probably unable to make the long journey back to Iceland. An Osprey was a wonderful sight as it flew along the River Trent on the 19th. An adult Little Gull in full breeding plumage was seen on the 24th and 26th.
Pick of the bunch of wading birds were the two Whimbrel noted on the 29th. There were also records of Green Sandpiper, Common Snipe, Curlew, Redshank, Dunlin and Common Sandpiper. An exotic pair of Mandarin Ducks was seen on a number of occasions and a drake Pintail flew over on the 12th. A White Wagtail was observed on the 1st, a Wheatear on the 26th was followed by two on the 29th. A smart Whinchat was a good find on the 29th. The majority of summer visitors arrived this month and there were first records of House Martin, Swift, Yellow Wagtail and Common Tern along with various species of warblers.
MARCH 2022: Probably the best sighting of the month was the three Little gulls seen on the 23rd. They were part of a small inland movement with birds noted at several sites in the Midlands. The three Russian White-fronted Geese which first appeared on January 28th were last seen on the 9th. Two Curlew flew through on the 17th. A single Pink-footed Goose was observed on several dates throughout the month as was the exotic looking Ruddy Shelduck. March sees the arrival of the first summer visitors and it was nice to hear the first singing Chiffchaff on the 9th. The first Sand Martins appeared on the 17th, Little Ringed Plover on the 29th along with an early Swallow also on the 29th. Martins and Swallows feed on aerial insects so they would have found the bitterly cold weather of the last few days of the month a real challenge and no doubt some birds would have succumbed. There were also sightings of Shelduck, Little Egret, Raven, Red Kite and Red-legged Partridge.
JANUARY 2022: The highlight of the month was the appearance of three Russian White-fronted Geese on the 28th. They consisted of two adults and a juvenile, so probably a family party. These geese breed on the tundra areas of northern Russia so have made quite a lengthy journey to reach Hoveringham. They are still present, mixing with the large Canada Goose/Greylag Goose flock. A Great White Egret was seen on a couple of occasions as was a Water Rail. Two Stonechats continued to be reported on several dates and a Green Sandpiper was noted on the 6th. Up to three Bramblings could still be found in the mixed finch flock. The first noisy Oystercatcher of the year arrived on the 28th. Numbers of farmland birds have decreased drastically over the last couple of decades and one such species is the Yellowhammer. It was therefore pleasing to locate a flock of 20+ birds in fields to the rear of the Annexe Pit. Other species of note which were recorded during the month included Redshank, Common Snipe, Grey Wagtail and Peregrine Falcon.