Thursday, 16 April 2015

Orgreave Lakes

Another free afternoon and another trip to Orgreave Lakes in all its glory. In fairness I should have gone in the morning before my solitary lecture but when the alarm went off at 6.00 I just could not face it and missed a whinchat for my lie in.
But never mind, hindsight is a wonderful thing! I arrived on site to a sunnier afternoon than yesterday but it was a very similar cast of birds on show. The Maned Duck was still present and still sleeping as seems to be its favourite pastime. Also on show were the waders from yesterday, featuring Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Redshank, Dunlin but the Common Sandpipers remained frustratingly distant. 2 of the original 4 Egyptian Geese were still present almost a week after they first dropped in, but they remained on the island so I could only digiscope them.
-Egyptian Geese
There were no hirundines in the sky, until I reached the main lake when the all seemed to descend at once out of nowhere. There were all 3 species though, in flocks which seemed much bigger than yesterday.
There was also a bumper landing of Wheatears, with at least 7 birds there today, including 2 females, which were my first of the year. Sadly they were all spread out so it was difficult to accurately judge just how many there were. Either way, the more the merrier so far as I am concerned as British birds just simply do not get any better.
Having said that, the highlight of today's trip was a superb White Wagtail along the northern edge of the main lake. I had checked for them all along the walk but had only got 2 Pied Wagtails (which are deffo the smarter of the subspecies!). But then I spotted this one feeding along the water edge. The contrast from the hood to the pale back clearly show this is a spring male White Wag, and is my first one of the year. What a super bird, and I set myself up so I got a couple of decent record shots through the scope to go with it!
-White Wagtail
That remained it for the lakes. Along the river there were multiple more male Blackcaps singing, as well as a few Willow Warblers. I managed to get eyes on both species but Willow Warbler was only fleeting as I tried to set myself up for a digiscoped shot. There were a few Chiffchaffs in the scrub as I come in as well, so we had a nice bunch of summer warblers.

Species List:
Orgreave Lakes: Mute Swan, Graylag Goose, Canada Goose, Egyptian Goose, Mallard, Gadwall, Tufted Duck, Moorhen, Coot, Grey Heron, Cormorant, Common Redshank, Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Common Sandpiper, White Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Goldfinch, Kestrel, Feral Pigeon, Woodpigeon, Wheatear, Sand Martin, Swallow, Great Crested Grebe, Lesser Black-Backed Gull, Black-Headed Gull, Linnet, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Lapwing, Oystercatcher, 

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