Not surpisingly, if you go to the Coombe Hill GWT reserve at different times of day, you see different things. Water levels have dropped a little since the weekend; the Long Pool hide is now accessible, and some migrant waders are beginning to show.
First, Les Brown’s observations from this morning:
4 Mute Swans. 2 Canada Geese. 11 Shelducks. c90 Teal. c40 Mallard. 2 Pintails. 10 Tufted Ducks. 1 Grey Heron. 2 Little Egrets. 12 Coots. 61 Lapwings in a flock with 3 Golden Plovers and c20 Lapwings in meadows to south of canal,some displaying. 7 Curlews. 2 Snipe. 2 Dunlins. 1 Redshank. 1 Little Ringed Plover. 2 G.S.Woodpeckers. 3 Reed Buntings.
When I looked this evening, staying until after sunset, my main interest being Curlews, I saw waders were mainly on the damp bits of the Southern Meadows – now 3 Little Ringed Plovers (a migrant species which winters mainly south of the Sahara), a Ruff (another miogrant wader) and one Dunlin, but no sign of Golden Plover or Redshank. The biggest difference was in Curlew numbers; by 19h50 (sunset at 19h35) 35 individuals had come in to roost, some of them apparently in pairs; were these local breeders, or passing migrants? If local breeders, wherever did they all come from? Also at least 265 Teal. And a flock of 60 Fieldfares (migrants which breed in Scandinavia) on the ground. And a Little Grebe whinnying. And 4 Little Egrets.
Sadly, no Snipe, drumming or otherwise.
Still no Chiffchaffs singing; these summer visitors would normally have been in full throat since mid-March