When the weather did let up today, you could believe that spring is just around the corner. Only just over a week, and it’ll be March! And the black-headed gulls know it. Today I estimate there were fifty or so on the reserve, hoping to secure the best position for nesting.

But, before I get ahead of myself, here is the sightings summary…

In the Tree Sparrow Farm today, it was good to see two lesser redpoll feeding near the hedge. These tiny finches are always a pleasure to see and tend to turn up at this time of year when food is scarce. Also here today were some rather smart-looking tree sparrows.

Tree sparrow as seen this morning at Old Moor

On the Reedbed Trail, the bearded tit showed well and their ‘pings’ were joined by the usual mix of water rail and Cetti’s warbler calls.

But once again, it was the Wader Scrape that proved to be a hotspot. Here today were not one but two Caspian gulls! The birds turned up within minutes of each other (and minutes of me leaving Old Moor I might add!) A third winter bird was joined a little after three o’clock by an adult. The best place to look for these is the bank that separates the Mere from the Wader Scrape though the mix of immature lesser black-backs, great black-backs and herring gull can make this a tricky business.

Lesser redpoll in the Tree Sparrow Farm this morning

It’s also worth mentioning that today the ‘oystercatcher count’ jumped to six birds – another indication that spring is on its way.

Until next time.