Periods of easterly winds in late April and May are often associated with movements of migrating waders. Evidence of this in action could be clearly seen today when my visit to the wetland this afternoon resulted in sightings of yesterday's Spotted Redshank, two Greenshanks and a trio of Whimbrels.
Spring visits by Greenshank have become regular here and it is pleasing that they have once again graced the farm as they head for more northerly breeding grounds, most likely in Scandinavia.
The Whimbrels had previously been on Wykeham South Lake late morning (where they were accompanied by a Bar-tailed Godwit) and were seen to depart to the SW. Clearly they soon found the flooded field 8383 to their liking, although presumably the Bar-tailed Godwit was less impressed! Whimbrels are regular passage migrants through Yorkshire as they head towards breeding grounds in northern Scotland and Scandinavia. It is however a little surprising that it has taken quite so long to be added to the farm list, especially as they have been recorded on nearby Willerby Carr and Brompton Ings in recent springs.
One of the three Whimbrel present today. Notice that although similar to a Curlew, this species is smaller with a pale crown stripe, pale supercillium and an all black bill.
A record photo of the Spotted Redshank, only the second sighting of this species on the farm.
So, the wader list moves on to 23 and the overall farm bird list reaches 147. The 150 mark is clearly in sight, so I wonder if we'll get there this year...