Carr Vale Sightings Report by Mark Beevers

The weather changes but what does it bring?

Wednesday 8th May finally arrived. I say finally because I and some other ardent local patchers had been watching the weather forecast for several days and the forecast of low cloud, rain and east north east winds had fired our enthusiasm. These weather conditions can, if the birding gods are smiling on you, produce memorable birding so no wonder I was on site at Carr Vale before 0530. Unfortunately the gods blessed other local sites and my seven hour stint was rather disappointing producing in terms of migrants just a Dunlin, two Common Sandpipers and a total of 14 Common Terns north-east whilst other species noted included a Peregrine and the Swallow x House Martin Hybrid, which was still around on 10th May. The weather conditions still looked good in the early evening prompting another visit which produced three Ringed Plover and the Dunlin on the Southern Flash with two Whimbrel flying north. Not a classic day given the conditions but acceptable enough. The following day (9th) again failed to deliver the hoped for deluge of scarce migrants but nevertheless in six hours we recorded the male Pochard again, Water Rail calling, six Dunlin, two Common Sandpipers, 11 Arctic Terns (ten and one) north-east and two Hobbies. The 10th was the best day of the three and another seven hour shift starting at 0510 produced a pair of Shelduck, an extra Oystercatcher, four Common Terns, two Arctic Terns (left north east at 0820), three Black Terns (for five minutes before flying south-east at 0945), an adult Kittiwake (0610 - 0635 only), a third summer Yellow-legged Gull, Peregrine, the hybrid Swallow x House Martin and three Wheatears whilst amongst the gulls there were 50 Herring, 22 Lesser Black-backed and 15 Great Black-backed. Long-stayers included the two Pink-footed Geese and two drake Teal with Tawny Owls in two locations. 

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