21st May 2011 – Nestbox update

The 4 nest boxes I made and put up in the garden in the winter are all currently occupied – by 2 pairs of Tree Sparrows, a pair of Great Tits and a pair of Blue Tits, and all are busy feeding young. It’s incredibly rewarding watching the inquisitive head of a youngster peering out of the nestbox hole, hungrily waiting for the parents to return.

After a poor seawatch – two Bonxies and 5 Gannets being the highlight, I decided to check the railings. Wader numbers have dropped off recently, but a strikingly pale ‘Ringed Plover’ initially seen distantly warranted a closer look, especially as I couldn’t see it’s legs – the bird stood out like a sore thumb amongst the breeding-plumaged Ringed Plovers.

Initially the all black bill (with hint of orange at base of lower mandible), white forehead, paler upperparts, lack of complete breast band (at distance) and lack of significant black tones all had alarm bells ringing, but as I gained better views I could see the leg colour was clearly orange and that it was a Ringed Plover in non-breeding plumage.

A handful of smart Sanderlings and Turnstones allowed for some nice photographic opportunities…

and a Meadow Pipit displayed continuously along the shore…

Meanwhile in the south of the county a real Cumbria mega was discovered today – a Temminck’s Stint at Hodbarrow. A great find – especially as moments earlier they had found a Great White Egret aswell.

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