And no, we have not had a Wheatear or a LIttle Ringed Plover but we did have two very active, fresh looking Chiffchaffs in full song in the Cordite today. 

And whereas the former two species may elicit an oooh of trans-Saharan epic journeys; there is something simple about the song of a little olive and buff warbler with a hint of saffron giving it his all from an as yet in leave tree.

A lovely Chiffie in the budding Blackthorn by Russ Sherriff

Otherwise it has been another tough week with howling gales everyday picking up in intensity from mid morning and makign any sort of viewing troublesome.  Frequent squalls have brought the water levels up further which is great even at this late stage in the winter and with a predominately westerly airflow it is not surprising than most of the wintering Lapwing and quite a few of the duck have departed for destinations far further to the east.

Choppy Wigeon - Andy Hibbard

There has been lots of displaying from the ducks while Canada Geese have been getting boistorous and Coots seriously stroppy...

The wind has been causing some flying mis-judgements! - Mark Vale

Coot Bundle - Ian Plume

As for the pair of loved up Mute Swans - let us not forget that these pictures were taken last weekend just after they had brutally drowned the immature Swan that was not quite savvy enough to get out of the Cob's way and take the hints to leave Purfleet Scrape. it paid for it with its life...

Both these images by Mark Vale

The male Ruff is still around and becoming spangly above while 73 Black-tailed Godwits late on Tuesday afternoon were the biggest flock for a few weeks as they gather to head for Iceland with our wintering Redshank while our breeding birds take up their territories alongside the already tumbling Lapwings.

Blackwits in the gloom - Tony O'Brien

An Urban Lapwing - Tony O'Brien

If the wind drops will the first Wheatear be seen this weekend? Traditionally the answer would be yes but this year I think we may have to wait a little longer....

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