An American Visitor

The Brooks seemed eerily quiet today with most of the wildfowl having recently departed for their summer breeding grounds. One notable exception was the american wigeon which was playing hard to get; it had moved from West Mead, where it was on Monday, to the North Brooks where the strong north westerly wind was making it difficult to find. Earlier it had showed itself briefly before disappearing into thick cover. Many observers hung about waiting for it to reappear, and as compensation (but not much) a few swallows and sand martins passed through, and the brownish juvenile peregrine almost got a wood pigeon, showering its feathers to the ground, but not having made a clean kill, gave up and sat in its tree. Three visits to the hanger were needed to finally find the american wigeon, which gave good but distant views to the relieved visitors that had patiently waited; good job I got good views yesterday, but I didn’t like to say that! Around the rest of the reserve plenty of Chiffchaffs were singing and West Mead had two obliging redshank and a single ruff were parading quite close in front of the hide. Walking back to the centre, near the bottom of the zigzag, a singing willow warbler was a nice surprise and a Grass Snake warming itself in the sunshine is always good to see. Although I missed an adder and singing blackcap it had turned out to be a very good day.