Sightings at Pensthorpe – 26th April 2024

Here’s the latest update from WVBS following their visit to Pensthorpe on 26th April 2024.

It was another cold morning start : 6 degrees (felt like 3) in the light northerly wind rising as high as 9 degrees by midday (felt like 7!). Although it did feel warmer when the sun came out briefly. We wondered if most birds were likely to be less vocal when it was so cold. Certainly we heard more warblers when it warmed up a bit.

Waders were still very few and far between: we had a few Lapwings, several Oystercatchers and a single Snipe but no sign of any others passing through. Maybe there’s not much food on the island edges having been submerged for so long. But with the cold and early drizzle it was lovely to see many hirundines hawking over the water: difficult to say how many but at least 15 House Martins, at least one Sand Martin and at least 8 Barn Swallows.

The woodland hide was very quiet: no Nuthatch, Marsh tit or woodpecker and a relatively low number of tits.

We saw a pair of Sparrowhawks, several Buzzards and at least 3 Red Kites, 2 of which we thought might be interested in nesting on the far side of the wetland hide. Reproduction was very much in the air: we saw a pair of displaying Great Crested Grebes, displaying Shovellers, mating Black-headed gulls and a family of Coot with 4 young and a family of Moorhen with 4 young. No sign of the Mallard ducklings seen by others……oh dear.

Finally in the sun an Orange-tip and to our delight a slow worm under one of the corrugated iron shelters. Someone had recorded one recently so we were keen to look and pleased to find.

Cath R and Sue G


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