Carr Vale Sightings Report by Mark Beevers

A red kite on walkabout

On 18th a Barnacle Goose was new for the year whilst a male Cuckoo was only the second record of the year (and my first). Also on 18th the male Pochard was seen again and an extra pair of Oystercatchers was present. Just a pair of Pochard on 19th but a male Shoveler on 20th was new for the month taking the monthly total to 107, the highest ever, at last, having hit 106 four times since 2013. Also on 20th the two male Teal remained, a female Pochard appeared late morning, gulls included 45 Herring and five Great Black-backed Gulls, the male Cuckoo put in another appearance and a Holly Blue was on the embankment. The good run continued on 21st when we had a Grey Plover fly north (17th record for the reserve) whilst other species included eight Mute Swans (the highest count for some time), 24 Gadwall, male Shoveler, an extra Oystercatcher, a Dunlin, Hobby and a Grey Wagtail. The highlight on the 22nd was a lovely pair of Garganey, which we kept quiet about just in case they settled down to breed (the male was seen displaying). The Shoveler was still present on 22nd along with three Pochard (two males), a calling Water Rail, the Dunlin, 150 Herring, 55 Lesser Black-backed and three Great Black-backed Gulls. On 23rd no sign of the previous days Garganey (hence the news going out) but the two male Teal were still present as were the two male and a female Pochard, a Ringed Plover, a female Cuckoo ( heard bubbling), a singing male Goldcrest and a Grey Wagtail but bird of the day was a Red Kite that flew west last morning. The year list now stands at 137, the second highest end of May count (highest is 141) whilst the month total is now an amazing 112 and we still got a week to go!