Thursday, 22 April 2010

Monday 19th April 2010

A day off so I decided to check out my regular Kempston route. Weather was fine but quite cold with a ground frost early on, warming up quickly though. I decided to reverse my normal route so I could check out the displaying Lapwings seen the previous week. This proved to be a good decision.

First up, at Kempston Mill, a Sedge Warbler was singing in the reed bed. Next up the Lapwings were displaying again, to the east of the new western bypass. At least four individuals were seen. Then it was on towards the golf course where I picked up a call I didn't know. A bit of tracking down turned up a male Black Redstart. The picture below shows the bird although not very well. This bird was extremely flighty and other than a glimpse of a rear quarter and that fantastic rusty orange tail I was unable to get very close at all. The bird was moving to a suitable song post, giving a burst of song, then moving on again.

OK I know it's a lousy picture but I just couldn't get close so I fired off a couple of shots at distance and blew the spec up to get this, better than nothing.

After losing the Redstart I continued along the side of the golf course and came across this Meadow Pipit posing on a fence post.

Next up was a Wheatear on the 15th fairway. As I watched it moved to the 15th tee which was next to the public footpath so I moved in the hope of getting closer views and possibly a photo. Sadly by the time I got round there it had gone and I was unable to relocate it.

I crossed the golf course a little further along than normal still hoping to spot the Wheatear again, instead I came across a beautiful singing Yellowhammer, absolutely stunning:

In Biddenham Loop CP another Sedge Warbler was singing at the south end entrance. The Mute Swan was still on her nest on the island. There was a lot of work going on at the new bypass bridge so I had to take the path away from the rivers edge until I got past the bridge. Just upstream from the weir a pair of Swans had a third trapped on the bank, obviously a bit of a territorial dispute going on.

Just downstream from the weir I came across a Great Crested Grebe which had fishing line wrapped around it's head. I am reliably informed that it is still able to catch and eat fish.

Back at the Mill and the Sedge Warbler was still in full song and showing well but it was time to get back home and get some breakfast after a great morning.