Sunday was bird walk and as nobody showed for it, I opted to count for the WEBs and have a general look about. The best birds I saw were a pair of Shelduck at LFGP, but missed the Jack Snipe and Brent Goose.
My wildfowl counts were 64 Teal, 14 Gadwall, 34 Shoveler, 2 Pochard, 31 Snipe at Tern scrape, 20 more LFGP.
Tuesday I was out early the Jack Snipe showing for me this time.
This morning I was out by 06:20 and in moments had caught up with a male Mandarin, which flew upstream and was gone. There really was nothing more to say at that time, but Bob Bennett kicked things off again with a Green Sandpiper in front of Ron's hide 09:18, which moved to Tern scrape by 10:50.
I joined the group around 11:40 and duly added a sleepy Green Sandpiper and a record shot, it was so lovely and bright I was feeling lucky so headed to BSL for a scan for Sand Martins, no joy but on return to the car park picked up a pair of Linnet in flight SE 12:02.
Barely moments later I picked up a large gull with an all white upper tail and no white inner wing markings, I watched it well for 30 seconds plus getting good enough views to dismiss LBB and Herring, quickly concluding it was a 1st winter Yellow-legged Gull, which continued drifting off ESE. I did check the fields East of Lavell's but could not find it.
A run of four in one morning brings me to within one of the fabled start of 2012, it only needs a Brambling, Pintail, Ruff and a Med Gull and I am flying high.
As I said to John today, we can expect an imminent Sand Martin, Redshank and Blackcap, but a March Wheatear and LRP are far from out of the question. 101 on 31st March 2012 is my best ever year list at the end of the first quarter. Last year I was only 1 behind that.