My first visit in April on Thursday morning (5th) in gorgeous sunny weather, cold at first but pretty warm by midday, time to shed some layers in fact!
The female Smew was on Big Pool again, still favouring the area near the submerged willow spit, her new favoured spot now that more anglers are on the pools and East Bay has become quite disturbed. The only other wildfowl of note was a female Shoveler in the same area. The lone Cormorant was still perched in the willows too, a sign of winter still.
Passerine highlight was my first Willow Warbler of the year over on the mosslands, seen perched up in the sunshine, it's song cascading across the heather covered heath. At least 4 Chiffchaffs were also around the site adding to the Sping feel of the day. A male Reed Bunting, an infrequent sight, was seen near Big Pool adding a dapper bit of coulour to the scene. Also noteworthy were a Treecreeper near Small Pool, always a pleasure to watch climbing up the tree trunks, along with a Coal Tit flitting around in the same pines. The only Green Woodpecker was on the mosslands as was a singing Skylark. Two Rooks flew over Big Pool and a Stock Dove was over ploughed fields on the east side of the site. Single Pied Wagtails were seen in 2 locations, near Sandy Lane and near Gull Pool. A lone Redwing was seen near Big Pool, how many more times will I see winter thrushes? A Linnet was back in a breeding area, rather than in winter flocks as it would have been just a few weeks ago.
50 species were seen, without the winter wildfowl which departed at the end of March and without any other summer visitors bar the two warbler species, hopefully it wouldn't be long with such great weather til other Spring migrants would be seen!
As well as the birds one of the main highlights was the first Common Lizard of the year, always a sight that brightens a warm weather walk. This first year lizard was found basking on a tree stump on the mosslands area of my patch, and stayed long enough for a couple of record shots with my phone (attached)! Also nearby a Smooth Newt was found in hibernation unfer a log, and with frogspawn already seen on patch it won't be long until the newts are back in the breeding ponds too.