In the warm spell last week we had several early records of spring migrants. The first Wheatear was on the 26th March, a fairly usual date, as was the first Sand Martin four days later. However at least three House Martins and a Swallow on the same day as the Sand Martin were the earliest return dates for these species on the nature reserve. A Willow Warbler on the 2nd April and male Redstart on the 6th were early dates for those species as well.

The first Osprey at Tindale Tarn was on the 25th, with another seen the following day. On the 6th April and Kielder nesting bird visited the reserve in a blizzard and also disturbed the resident gulls, see photos. This bird had been on camera at Kielder in the morning and was 20 miles south by early afternoon and then went back to Kielder.

A much rarer event took place at Tindale Tarn, when one of our volunteers, Adam Moan, found a Gannet flying round the Tarn on 4th April, the bird briefly landed. This is only the third record for the reserve, the other two were also on a windy day, but in the autumn, in September 2011. These birds are either crossing the country through the ‘Tyne Gap’ or are blown up the Solway and keep going.

Stephen Westerberg

Photos Adam Moan and Stephen Westerberg