The wags are back

Marston. 11 April.  I doubt that it will be as good as last year for wagtails as there isn’t a sheep field to pull them in. The first yellow wagtail was seen on the 9th and today I was surprised to find there were fifteen yellows and a white wagtail on fields to the North and West. It’s a traditional site, so perhaps it’ll still be good. There were about twenty-five pied wags, mostly males. A few swallows are seen daily, along with a few house martins. Sand martins have been seen regularly too, mostly going through, stopping off briefly. I haven’t found any more wheatears since a pair, on the last day of March, for two days. Today I saw a couple of grey partridges for the first time this year, along Green Lane. Warblers are arriving daily now, albeit in small numbers. A few blackcaps, chiffs and a couple of willow warblers are singing strongly. Yesterday a blackcap seemed to be carrying nesting material, with a female close by, they don’t waste much time, do they? I’m still waiting for whitethroat, reed and sedge warblers to arrive. I have now seen 93 species at Marston this year, (94 with white wag). A tufted duck was on the scrape for one day only, the other day. A fox in prime condition sauntered along the edge of the scrape, causing every bird on the water to panic. Coots, mallards, gadwalls, moorhens and a couple of mute swans all began to swim slowly towards the danger and they all came together, ganging up to try and see the fox off. At the same time, reed buntings dunnocks and great tits came out of nowhere and also chased the fox. Never seen this before, great entertainment.

On a drive around yesterday I took three photos, none of them involving birds, but good stuff. First, a centuries old willow, wider than a small car, at Willow tree fen. Second, an emperor moth, amazing colours, even though it was freshly dead. Lastly, just a cute pic. (yer, I know this isn’t facebook).