A dreadful morning on the 15th with a blasting, cold NW wind bringing wintery showers every few minutes, it did brighten up in the afternoon but we were full into sheep punding mode by then so coverage was slightly reduced – the Northern Harrier was still floating around though and the 3 Lapland Buntings were showing well, with the males beginning to look especially special!
Other little bits included a White Wagtail, 2 Robins, 16 Wheatears, a Chiffchaff, 11 Redwings, a Rook and a Brambling.
Lapland Bunting, photo Simon Davies
A much nicer day on the 16th saw plenty of unbroken sunshine throughout the day but it was slightly marred by the very cold, northerly wind cutting through the gloriousness; the Northern Harrier and the 3 Lapland Buntings were again amongst the highlights along with a/the pair of Garganey on Ancum.
There were still plenty of lingering winter wildfowl including 2 Whooper Swans, 17 Pink-footed Geese, 4 Long-tailed Ducks and 20 Red-breasted Mergansers while waders were also still present in numbers with 346 Golden Plover, 117 Purple Sandpipers, 11 Bar-tailed Godwits, 247 Turnstone and a Black-tailed Godwit waiting, like us for the spring to progress a bit further.
At least 8 Lesser Black-backed Gulls constituted a notable influx and a little male Sparrowhawk was also new in while landbird migrants largely remained the same with a Robin, 17 Wheatears, 15 Redwings, a Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrests, a Rook and a Brambling creating a sense of Deja vu.
Brambling, photo Simon Davies
Displaying Red-breasted Mergansers, photo Simon Davies