In April I had a 3 day birding trip to North Lancashire, staying at Pine Lake near Carnforth. The lake provided a few good birds, including a female Goosander, a male Goldeneye, Redshank, a pair of Common Sandpipers and a pair of displaying Oystercatchers. Oh, and swarms of Sand Martins (with a handful of House Martins and Swallows thrown in) provided a wonderful spectacle whilst I ate my dinner. Visits to RSPB Marshside, RSPB Leighton Moss, Mere Sands Wood, Conder Green and Glasson Dock produced a Little Gull, some smart summer plumage Golden Plovers, c2000 Black-tailed Godwits, Common Sandpiper, Eider, Grey Wagtail, Marsh Tit, Red-breasted Merganser and Spotted Redshank. Over the 3 days I got a total of 87 species, with 17 year ticks.
In March and April I saw a total of 119 species, bringing my year list up to 125, I also got 2 lifers and a British tick, not bad!
March was quite a barren month birding-wise, with the highlights being a pleasant day out at WWT Welney and Eldernell, with Common Crane as the best bird. I also went for some local Little Owls to complete my target of all 5 British owls this year. At the end of March I went into the Junior part of my school and ran a bird feeder making session, and delivered a presentation to the Junior school children about garden birds, giving out spotting sheets at the end so they could record what they saw in the Easter holidays. They were so enthusiastic, it was great to see! I also went back into the Junior school after the Easter holidays to ask some of them what they had seen in the holidays, and I had a lovely long chat with a couple of girls about the birds they had seen in Germany and Peru!
Straight after my trip to Lancashire I went on my Silver Duke of Edinburgh expedition in the Peak District. On the 3 days and 2 nights of camping we had glorious weather, and I got a few good birds too. We walked through some spectacular moorland, which was full of Red Grouse, Kestrels, Meadow Pipits, Skylarks, a few Willow Warblers, a couple of Stonechats and lots of displaying Curlews. I had a total of 10 Wheatear over the 3 days, and at one of the campsites a Great Spotted Woodpecker flew over and at least 3 Tawny Owls were calling throughout the night. But on the last day I managed to get the species I had been hoping for... about 10 Ring Ouzels flew over me, so I sprinted up a hill and managed to see one on a rock, distant, but definitely a Ring Ouzel - a lifer! It certainly put a spring in my step for the rest of the day!
On the last Sunday in April I heard about the Night-Heron that had been reported at Attenborough Nature Reserve in Nottingham, so after managing to persuade my parents to take me, I got it! Not a lifer but a very welcome British tick, as I saw one in Namibia last year. It was a very warm morning, and shortly after ticking the Night-Heron I had lovely views of my first Grasshopper Warbler reeling away whilst hearing my first booming Bittern!
A great end to a great month of birding.
I'm Sorrel, a young birder and wildlife artist based in the East Midlands - this is my blog all about my birding and wildlife adventures.