The weekend started on Saturday 6th with a days work followed by a swift 24 mile bike ride including popping in to the "Mucky Duck" to test a couple of pints (for quality control purposes obviously!!!)
Sunday 7th I was a bit unsure but decided to head over to the Chase again to catch up on some spring specialties however I decided to head off on a 7 mile ride which turned into 16, whata mistaka to maka. Once again various sites were visited and miles were walked. Most birds I was after I dipped on yet again but we did find 7 Common Crossbills, the odd Lesser Redpoll and loads of Siskin. I was back home late afternoon, made myself a tea, sat down and immediately fell to sleep. Not a bad afternoon for some but whilst I was dreaming of beer and Bobolinks my pager was going off with a Bearded Tit half an hour down the road found by Martyn Yapp. Bugger. Also three Avocets were five minutes down the road at Croxall GP. I finally come to around fiveish, had some tea and headed off to Croxall to check out the Avocets thinking I would not have time to drive to Dosthill, find the birders and hopefully find the bird but guess who forgot the clocks went forward a week and we had more light in the evenings???? A quick look round Croxall did not produce the Avocets and as I had the dog I could only do the main lake, Julian Allen was heading off round by the river so I left him doing that and I headed for Whitemoor Haye. I concentrated on the lake area and birds included 12 Mute Swan, 2 Oystercatcher, 8 Wigeon on the main lake but where I was standing I could just see a small section of the far lake where there were roughly 150 Wigeon feeding on the grass, 7 Teal, 28 Tufted Duck, 9 Gadwall, 6 Mallard and wait a minute, 3 Avocets in the middle of the lake. I spotted them just as Julian appeared and drove past so I waved him down and soon he was with me enjoying the visitors. This is the first time I have ever seen them swimming and it was an amazing sight. other birds were 5 Goldeneye (one drake) and a Redshank. Ten minutes later the Avocets took off high heading north.
Monday was work but Tuesday 9th I spent the evening at Whitemoor Haye as it looked like the Bearded Tit had departed and birds of note were 25 Mallards, 4 Oystercatcher, 13 Meadow Pipits by the new centre plus the odd one elsewhere, 2 Gadwall, 3 Pochard, 24 Tufted Duck, 2 Teal, 35 Wigeon and a Treecreeper just behind me on a tree. Around the lanes I added 8 Mute Swan, several vocal Skylarks, 4 Corn Buntings (probably two pairs), 35+ Yellowhammers, 8 Tree Sparrows, 2 Reed Buntings, 1 Little Owl, a vocal Grey Partridge, 200+ Fieldfare, 2 Chiffchaffs and 8 Golden Plovers. A lovely evening but was wondering if I should have been at Dosthill!!!!! As it happened it was seen in the morning but not since.