There have been a few interesting sightings in recent days, so time for a quick update here.
Water levels were low until quite recently, but were raised a couple of weeks ago and odd passage waders are starting to appear from time to time in order to enjoy the habitats that have been provided for them and the breeding waders. Of most interest have been a Ruff which lingered for a few days and, during this afternoon's deluge, a partial summer plumaged Spotted Redshank. Although both of these species have been seen on the farm in the past, they remain rare visitors and it is always a nice surprise when they arrive. A recent Little Ringed Plover had doubtless come from Wykeham Lakes, where they breed. The Lapwings have at last started to get their act together and are getting on with breeding and there will be an update on their progress later in the spring.
Although yet to be fully confirmed, it appears that there are two pairs of territorial Curlews on the farm, which is up on the usual single pair. One pair is often to be found frequenting the South Screed and perhaps is indicative of a quick benefit from the recent work to remove the Screed shelter belt. The most recent count of Snipe was of eight. I briefly heard burst of 'chipping' suggestive of possible breeding activity on North Screed. This needs further investigation, but is certainly an encouraging development.
Other recent sightings of interest have included a couple of lingering wintering species. Three Fieldfares were present a few days ago, whilst an immature Whooper Swan was a bigger surprise. It should have returned to more northerly breeding grounds by now and in fact is the latest spring bird to have been recorded in the Scarborough Birders recording area.