Carr Vale sighting report by Mark Beever

The 24th was a good day as amongst a large gathering of big Gulls once again we found a juvenile Iceland Gull.

The 24th was a good day as amongst a large gathering of big Gulls once again we found a juvenile Iceland Gull, the same bird as a week ago and now the latest ever for the county by a good five weeks. In the Gull flock there were 55 Herring Gulls, 40 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 11 Great Black-backed Gulls, good numbers for so late in the spring. Two male Pochard were present as were the resident Water Rails (two heard) Oystercatchers, Common Terns and Hobby. Migrants or less regular species included a pair of Little Ringed Plovers, a Common Sandpiper, a Kingfisher and a Raven over west. However bird of the day was a very smart summer plumaged Little Stint, a rare bird in the county in spring and an even rarer bird for Carr Vale this being just the fourth record (sixth bird) and the first since 2006. So all in all a pretty good day. 25th was even better! The weather forecast was for rain overnight and during the morning with a moderate north-easter, classic conditions for good birds in May even if it is a bit late in the month. For once my insistence that the conditions would produce the goods came good and justified our early arrival for as Phil and I went to check that the Little Stint was still present (it was and was still there at 1230) a couple of Turnstones dropped in very briefly, just the fifth record for the reserve and the first since 2014. Three Little Ringed plovers and two Common Sandpipers were also found early on. Nice, then at 0750 a flock of 19 Arctic Terns dropped in for ten minutes before departing north, not a bad first hour. Unfortunately that was it and no more migrants dropped in once the rain had set in for the morning. Other birds seen during the morning included three Pochard, a calling Water Rail, 35 Herring and ten Great Black-backed Gulls, a Hobby, a singing Goldcrest and a Grey Wagtail.