A few minutes later the clouds passed over and we were in glorious sunshine, this seemed to be a feature of the day with short sharp showers. There was a marked increase in Gadwall on the Carrs, with around 6 pairs.
Black Swan (Cygnus atratus)
Whoopers rainbow flypast!
As I was scanning the skies for raptors Andy called out about a pair of geese flying low over the reserve, two Tundra Bean Geese flew past and over towards Skipwith, shame they didnt drop in but this was a life tick for me.
On to Bubwith ings next for a waderfest! I've not been lucky with these in the area so far this year so was nice to finally catch up with some. Here were 9 Redshank, 12 Ruff, 4 Golden Plover, 67 Dunlin and 62 Lapwing. Also present were a few Fieldfare, 1 Redwing, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Reed Bunting and a big flock of Starling.
Bubwith Ings - Drenched in sun
I moved on to a nearby site known for its farmland birds but unfortunately it was very quiet, probably because of the high winds but these fieldfare provided a nice photograph.
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
I carried on up the LDV stopping off at Thorganby viewing platform (once I finally found it!). Not a a massive amount about but plenty of Wigeon, Teal & Mallard and 1 Shelduck.
Carrying on up to Wheldrake in search of Willow Tits (another bird i've not seen before), Andy told me he had seen some yesterday at Wheldrake Ings and a Water Rail! Unfortunately I couldnt find any and the river was up again (and you had to wade to get to the bridge!). I returned back to Bank Island and to my surprise a lovely Willow Tit was calling away, I managed to get on it and it flitted from the bushes to the feeders a few times, result!
The Willow Tit is quite similar to the Coal Tit in size, with a black cap which extends down to the neck (there is no white stripe here as on the Coal Tit), and a pronounced black bib.
There were plenty of birds enjoying the food available including Bullfinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Tree Sparrow, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Dunnock and a big fat brown Rat!! I was joined again by Andy Walker as I was leaving who was going to explore, but it was time for me to go home!
On the way home there were 7 pheasants all feeding together at the side of the road (5 males!) and driving from Skipwith to North Duffield the usual numerous woodpigeon were still feeding in the fields.
A real cracking day out really enjoyed despite the weather being terrible at times. 6 year ticks and 2 life ticks, not bad going at all!