Carr Vale in April

Mark Beevers tells us about the first week in April at Carr Vale....

First week of April update from Carr Vale and it’s been pretty dire really with cool temperatures and a slowing up in the arrival of summer visitors. Of the regulars eight Wigeon were still present on 7th, Gadwall peaked at 40 on 3rd, Teal at 39 on 1st with 37 still on 7th, up to four pairs of Red-legged Partridge, up to four Cormorants, maximum of 13 Buzzards seen from the mound (1st), up to four Sparrowhawks (3rd and 5th), up to two Water Rails, resident pair of Oystercatchers, one or two Little Ringed Plovers on six dates, up to eight Snipe, single Common Gulls on three dates, up to 140 Herring and 70 Great Black-backed Gulls which are pulling in more interesting gulls, Barn Owls still at Mill Farm, Green Woodpecker heard calling daily, up to two Peregrines on the first six days of the month, Willow Tit pretty much daily on the mound, up to five Hares and up to three Roe Deer most days. 

The best of the rest includes on the 1st a pair of Pochard (also 2nd, 5th and 6th), a Dunlin, a Tawny Owl, 35 singing Chiffchaffs and 20 Fieldfare whilst five Siskins flew north on 2nd. On 3rd a Little Egret flew north, on 4th an adult Yellow-legged Gull, a Norwegian Ringed Great Black-backed Gull (black ring white code JC075), a flock of seven Jays, a Marsh Tit seen and heard calling on the mound, 47 Sand Martins south, a maximum of seven Swallows, the first two House Martins of the year and a brief female Wheatear. On 5th a maximum of nine intermedius race Lesser Black-backed Gulls, one of which is a Norwegian ringed bird (black ring white code J5--- on right leg), a yellow ringed Herring Gull (Y837) from the York ringing project mentioned in previous blog entries plus a House Martin, six singing Blackcaps and a Siskin north. A maximum count of 11 Grey Lag Geese, a Curlew, a different Norwegian ringed Great Black-backed Gull (black ring, white code JZ625 right leg), 40 Sand and two House Martins on 6th with on 7th a female Wheatear and the first two Yellow Wagtails of the year and the only butterfly of the week, a small Tortoiseshell.