Monday, 26 March 2012

North Devon

Went to the reserve at Bradiford this morning, a Kingfisher was sitting on the post I put up just for it! From the Tarka trail (where I met Maurice) we saw a pair of Gadwall fly in to the reserve and a pair of Goosander on the river. As it was high tide most of the birds were over on Penhill Saltmarsh.
This evening I toddled down to Sherpa, via Wrafton Pond (not much) and popped into Velator reserve, where at least one Willow Warbler was flitting about. Then as I went round the pond, several birds took flight, one of which seemed at first glance to be juvenile Gull, but on closer inspection turned out to be a first-summer Night Heron! It flew off south then west and appeared to land out on the great field, perhaps by one of the drainage ditches. I carried on to the main marsh and was busy counting (or at least trying to count) the mobile flock of Pied Wagtails, when a Swan flew in and started circling. Through the bins it turned out to be an adult Whooper Swan!! Where's that come from? It did two circuits and appeared to then land in Braunton Pill south of the Toll House. The pair of Pintail were still present, but I only saw one drake Gadwall. 6 Little Egrets and a Grey Heron. I concluded that there were probably 100+ Pied Wagtails.
So, cycled home and then drove out across the Great Field. No sign of the Night Heron, but 36 Mute Swans in a 1st-year dominated herd. 2 Little Owls calling from a hedgerow.