A beautifully sunny morning saw me out on Swinemoor once again, although a little wind made things slightly chilly. As I walked past the hawthorn hedges a group of Redwings flew out along with 6 Fieldfares, 3 Chaffinches, 1 Blue Tit and a pair of Tree Sparrows.
Out on the floods a group of aroun 20 Black-headed Gulls and 7 Common Gulls was far outnumbered by a hoard of Lapwings; at least 200 birds. Scanning through these lapwings revealed a group of 22 Golden Plover and a lone Greenshank feeding in the mud. Today it was noticeable how many Carrion Crows were foraging on the common with about 30 birds as well as groups of Rooks and Jackdaws. Further along a group of 5 Curlew were feeding alongside the same ditch as they were last week – in fact they have been residing here for a couple of weeks now. In addition large numbers of Snipe continually flushed from the wet grassland with at least 25 birds in flight as I did my circuit of the common.
As I walked along the flood defences of the River Hull a few wading birds were disturbed by a passing helicopter and on closer inspection a group of 8 Redshank were accompanied by a single Dunlin, 2 Ruff and a pair of Black-tailed Godwits which both settled down for a nap – tucking their bills under their wings. Superb! It seems that Swinemoor has something interesting every time I visit at the moment. Thinking that these were the best birds of the day I continued to watch the Ruff and Dunlin which nervously moved around the common every time a Crow disturbed them. Following their flight I noticed another bird on the floods that I hadn’t spotted previously: a Grey Plover which very obligingly took a short flight to show its black “armpits” before settling down again so I could take a longer look at it. Although not a rare species this was a first for Swinemoor – it’s always nice to get a local patch “tick”.