An evening visit to the patch was extremly productive!!!
I was dropped off at Blackstone and i walked south home.
Due to the nature of the walk, i had decided to only take my bins, what would i find anyway!!
A quick scan across the fields around the farm at blackstone quickly revelaed a female YELLOW WAGTAIL, which quickly flew off in a north direction calling. a perfect start to the walk, i quickly notcied the singing Chiffchaff and Whitethroat, and a gorgeous male Blackcap gave great views singing its head off atop a bush, i had a scan across the rocks below the bridge, and i was amazed to see a flock of 3 Female GOOSANDER, an extrely off sighting given the time of year, the birds obviously became wary quite quickly so i carried on south,
I was just thinking about How great The riverside looked for Mandarin, and as if by coincidence, a Pair of small duck cought my attention swimmming along the opposite bank, before i raised my bins i knew that my though was infact reality, and there was indeed a pair of MANDARIN DUCK on the river severn on the patch!!!
I walked to a fshing platform and watched the birds as they swam back north, so after they had swam quite a bit away, i walked on, but then the strangest things happened, another drk Mandarin flushed from below the bank, Ok so 3 Mandarin!!!
But it didnt end there, i continued walking, and i kept picking them up, by the end of this section of river to the wigeon lake i had seen 9 Mandarin of which 7 were Drk, the Patches record count!!!
I had suspitions about the birds even at this stage, so i quickly left them to do their thing..
A single Common Sandpiper was feeding along the edges of the river which i believe is my first ever spring record of the species, but im not sure, the rest of the walk south from the wigeon lake was uneventful.
I was up bright and early the next morning 7/05/11 and i headed upriver with the scope slung across my shoulder, my reward came very quickly!! as 4 Mandarin were perched in tree by the sand martin bank':
I watched these bird for abit then moved on, clocking Whitethroat after Whitethroat, which seemed to be everywhere, the birds were much the same as the night before, but when i reached blackstone it was obvious that only 1 drk Mandarin was in attendence, howver the 3 f Goosander remained on the rocks below the bridge.
At the wigeon lake i was treated to superb views of both Whitethroat and Kestrel.
and the vally behind the lake looked superb with Bluebells..
I continued my walk south, and i refound the Mandarin flock, and i gladly took a video while in a downpour!!
A nice 2 days on the patch