We're now in lockdown.  The Covid-19 virus has now spread onto our shores and the signs are that it will continue to strengthen its grip over the subsequent weeks and maybe months.

These are deeply concerning times.  The numbers of recorded infections and deaths appears to be growing exponentially with Italy and Spain bearing the brunt of the rising infection rates.

While some continue to flout the guidance on the measures set out by the government to suppress the infection rate, it does appear that the majority of people are conforming to this new way of life.  It is always heartening to acknowledge the good in humanity with many altruistic and benevolent acts in support of those that are struggling through these unprecedented times.

Living day by day is become a real challenge for all of us.  Remaining housebound for large portions of the week is something I'm not used to.  Work projects have all been placed on hold and the risk of being furloughed has now crept into the ine…

Broom GPs

So for a second time this weekend, I headed out for a morning walk around Broom on another gloriously clear and sunny morning despite the lingering chill.

There was plenty of interest again today.  The usual cast of two Oystercatcher and now four Lapwing were present on GLE.  Common Gull still lingered with at least 30 there.

Two Raven flew low over and two Grey Partridge were uncharacteristically out in the open on the grassy area on the north side.

Chiffchaff continued to be prominent with five singers around the complex.

On the G&M Growers field, a single Dunlin and two Shelduck represented my 99th and 100th species for the complex.

A Sparrowhawk flew through.

Broom GPs

A proper walk round the Broom complex on a cold but sunny morning.  It was great to be out and about particularly with coronovirus now taking its grip globally.  There is a sense of anticipation of what's to come in this country.  A lockdown may be enforced with limited access to areas of nature but the extent at this stage is still being debated.  Making the most of these opportunities was very much in the forefront of my mind.

Heading to GLE first and it was standard fare with an Oystercatcher and four Lapwing on the grassy areas by the viewpoint.  A Kingfisher flew low on the north side.  Two Raven then flew in from the west and remained in the area for a while.
Evading my initial scan across the islands, my first Little Ringed Plover of the year popped in staying for around 15 minutes before disappearing again.  Always great to see the first one of the year.

Water levels are still high but eight Snipe were flushed from the scant vegetation along the western fringes.  Two Redsh…

Broom GPs

It's been hard work these past few days and to be honest, it didn't feel particularly inspiring today either.  It was mild though, a bit grey, but the sun was attempting to force its way through.  The only silver lining of home working is being able to hit Broom for an hour at lunchtime.
Arriving on site immediately picking up my first Redshank for Broom that was well overdue.  It was later joined by a second.
Seeing the first Sand Martin of the year is one of the year's birding highlights.  A group of eight lingered for around five minutes before heading off west.   

Three Oystercatcher made their presence known as they noisily made their way onto the reserve from the west.
A passing Red Kite spooked a few of the birds resting on the pools, five Common Snipe amongst a modest gathering of wildfowl.
Three Lapwing were in and around the margins, 13 Wigeon remained on the grassy bunds, and around 40 flighty Meadow Pipit were present close to the viewpoint.

Rye Meads

Early morning at Broom - the weather showing no signs of Spring reflected in the meagre assemblage of regular stuff failing to bring inspiration during these difficult times.  Around 30 Shoveler was probably the most noteworthy sighting.

Rye Meads was different though.  From the Draper Hide overlooking the scrape, there was plenty of activity with the raucous sound of Black-headed Gull and a decent scattering of wildfowl.

Of interest though was a single Jack Snipe snoozing along the fringes of a small spit with five Common Snipe there.  Two Green Sandpiper were also present on the shingle islands, with two Shelduck out on the pools.

A single Cetti's Warbler called explosively nearby.

Broom GPs

Nothing really inspiring today, but four Oystercatcher was a two-fold increase on what had been previously observed.

Common Gull numbers had halved from the previous day.  Four Snipe and three Lapwing were seen and around 30 Meadow Pipit were feeding on the nearside of the marsh.

Broom GPs

It's still cold but the evening at Broom late afternoon was quite pleasant.

Common Gull numbers were up considerably with around 70 on the scrape presumably congregations starting to move through.

Two Oystercatcher remained on the islands and Shoveler minimum counts returned 24 scattered around GLE.  At least seven Wigeon were still present.

A single Chiffchaff was seen in the old oak behind the watchpoint and three Snipe dosed along the grass margins on the south side.