Morning and evening at Coombe Hill

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

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