Prompted by Dave R’s last post and a text from Steve Lyon I went to Marston STW yesterday around 1400 and was surprised at how quiet it was – very little on the scrape, only one Cetti’s singing and no sign of Willow/Chiffs. It was only when I got round to the horse paddock on Hough Mill Lane that things began to liven up. Obviously some of the Yellow Wagtails had returned to the paddock as there were seven there and very mobile but I managed to get one near enough to photograph, although it was against bright sunlight:

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There were around 50 Swallows and some House Martins feeding over the paddock as well as the two Pink-footed Geese:

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I walked back along the field to the hide just in case there might have been anything worthwhile on the scrape. On the way I looked in on the North scrape but there was very little, however I was surprised just how much exposed mud at the moment – where are all the waders? From the hide I watched the single Green Sandpiper at some distance:

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A Mallard drake attempting to drown his mate:

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Watched by a voyeuristic Carrion Crow:

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While I was in the hide Derek Pell came in and asked if I had seen the 5 Wheatear in the 2nd field, so as I was about to leave anyhow I rushed down there meeting a couple who confirmed that the 5 had been there but now they could only see 2. When I got there three  were very obvious (2m + 1f) and I managed to knock off a couple of shots, although at a distance of 20+ metres the results weren’t brilliant:

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Also heard and saw briefly a Sedge Warbler near the 5 bar gate. So a good three hours all told – Marston is certainly coming with a few decent birds recently.

This morning I just went out with the dog for a bit and down by the local STW I came across this obliging Willow Warbler – no doubt this time as it was singing it’s heart out:

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David