Sunday, 5 April 2015

Easter Migration at the Farm!

This is the first Easter weekend I have spent in the UK for a few years and what better to do than catch up on some early Surrey VC migration. The weekend had started slowly with a trickle of hirundines and the odd wader passing through the Farm.
(Eurasian Swallow)
This morning I took advantage of joining Tank tours who incidentally was still grinning having finally caught up with Nuthatch on the farm. I walked most of the Farm with Tank logging Jack Snipe, Snipe, Green Sandpipers and a couple of Tree Sparrow but no Wheatear. A small group of Wheatear appeared around the lagoons later on in the day. A Little Ringed Plover had been seen early on and was seen in flight by Pinpoint shortly after my return to the hide.

The morning had been productive with a good movement of Meadow Pipit and Linnet. It always helps to have the sharper eyed members of the group in the hide but around 1230 the hide emptied leaving me to take up post on Kojaks Corner.

Kojaks corner is situated on the NW corner of the main mound which is some 60+ feet above the North and South lakes. It provides magnificent views of both lakes and gives a panoramic view of the farm.

Within about five minutes of setting up I heard a Brambling calling the bird flew towards park-side. The movement of hirundines was good in comparison with other days so I decided to stay on watch for a while.

A couple of hours passed, the sky was beginning to brighten up and it was time for Buzzards to arrive above the mound. The behaviour of the gulls was a good indicator of the arrival of a bird and being so much closer to the heavens made it easier for me to lock on to birds.
(Red Kite v Buzzard)
I saw two raptors appear directly SE of where I was standing and quickly realised that a Buzzard and a Red Kite were sky dancing with each other. Both birds wheeled around in between the clouds before both flew off N. A pair of Buzzards followed on arriving from the NE shortly afterwards. A few Meadow Pipits passed over in groups of two to three.

News of a passage of Raptors through Rainham combined with the NE – SE breeze had my eyes fixed firmly to the skies. Would a Marsh Harrier or even an Osprey grace the farm with their presence. Sadly it was not to be but it had been an interesting afternoon migration and the clock had ticked on to 1730!

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