SATURDAY 6 MARCH
Another very cold day and a sharp overnight frost. A fresh easterly wind blew, keeping temperatures down to just 6.5 degrees C.
BOWES MARSH, PITSEA (ESSEX)
'Scoping the Greylag and Atlantic Canada Goose flock distantly from Church Lane, there was no sign of the adult Red-breasted Goose that was bearing the yellow plastic ring seen by locals on Thursday and Friday.
HOCKLEY WOODS (ESSEX)
Hockley Woods in March is one of the most reliable sites in Britain to see LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER and although I arrived late (3 birds had already been seen early morning), I did eventually manage to see one bird in flight just yards from where the logs have all been piled up. I did not hear any whilst I was present but the bird I did see responded to the tape.
There was no shortage of Great Spotted Woodpeckers, with 5 seen, along with 2 Nuthatches, Common Treecreeper, Jays, Mistle Thrush, several Song Thrushes and Stock Dove. A very noisy gaggle of Redwings was feeding on ripening berries inside the wood.
SHAPWICK HEATH NNR (SOMERSET)
Frustrated at missing the three Glossy Ibises by ten minutes on Monday, I decided to spend another dusk vigil waiting for them. It took me over three hours to drive to Shapwick from Essex and I eventually pitched up just after 1700 hours.
John Martin and I waited on the South Drain footpath until dusk but unlike the night before (and the night after!), the Glossy Ibises did NOT show up.
A single GREAT WHITE EGRET flew in at 1740 from the north, joining a second bird already on Noah's Lake, whilst 17 Little Egrets roosted. At least one EURASIAN BITTERN was booming.
Numerous WATER RAILS and CETTI'S WARBLERS were calling from the reedbeds, and several Common Goldeneyes were on Noah's Lake.
Once again, the Common Starling 'show' was fantastic, with a PEREGRINE wheeling in and out of them
A female TAWNY OWL was calling as I walked the two miles back to my car in the dark