Coombe Hill on 16 April

Horrid weather with snow showers early in the morning, leaving probably the heaviest snowfall of the year on the Cotswolds and a little snow on the southern end of the Malverns, and bringing large numbers of hirundines down over Coombe Hill; once the snow passed, fair numbers of singing summer migrants; no sign of the cranes seen yesterday by Andy Jayne.  Water levels continuing to rise (over the top of the stage boards again, water on the boardwalk) , making life very difficult for any ground nesting birds but nice variety pof breeding and passage waders.

4 Mute Swans (one with nest by board walk); 6 Greylags; 2 Canada Geese; 6 Shelducks; 3 Wigeon; 6 Gadwall; 150 Teal (still lots of them about, are they going to nest??); 20 Mallard; 20 Shoveler; 3 Tufted Ducks; 3 Little Egrets; 2 Grey Herons; 1 Cormorant landed; 15 Coot (family still with four growing chicks on canal); 2 Oystercatchers (mating seen); 20 Lapwings (lots of aerial display, and some display on the ground with raised tail, but no sign of any sitting birds, either on the reserve which was under water, or on the barley field which has recently been ploughed and sown); 1 Little Ringed Plover; 2 Snipe; 1 Curlew (only a bit of bubbling); 1 Whimbrel; 1 Black-tailed Godwit (in bright summer plumage); 2 Redshanks (very lively, lots of trilling and display, looks as though they would like to nest if the water levels ever drop); 1 Green Sandpiper, 10 Black-headed Gulls moving through; hundreds of Swallows and dozens of Sand Martins, plus a single House Martin, flying low early on and landing on willows to get out of the wind and snow; 2 Yellow Wagtails; 3 Pied Wagtails; one male Wheatear; at least one singing Cetti’s Warbler; about four singing Sedge Warblers; one singing Whitethroat; 1 singing Lesser Whitethroat; 3 singing Blackcaps; 2 singing Willow Warblers; at least three singing Chiffchaffs; 2 singing Reed Buntings.

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