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On the 24th March:


A drive to The Wirrel for a long weekend visiting Tim and Ann Cleeves, Tim was now the warden on the island of Hilbre in the Dee Estuary. At low tide Tim met us on the mainland with the tractor, but that was only for the luggage, so we had to walk across the sands before the tide started to rise.

As the tide came in we did a seawatch from the old life-boat station, seeing a Fulmar, 3 Common Scoter and a Red-breasted Merganser.

Then as high tide approached thousands of waders flew in to the 3 small islands to roost, the majority were Knot, with smaller numbers of Grey Plover, Dunlin, Turnstone, Redshank, Curlew, Oystercatchers and Purple Sandpipers of which we counted 38. Most of the waders settled on the rocky island edges out of sight, there were also lots of gulls including Great Black-backed and we counted 41 Grey Seals.


Photos: Tim hoisting the weather signal, Laurel holding the ladder.

             Grey Plover, Turnstone and a Knot at high tide.


An early start to drive to Bough Beech Reservoir in Kent, to look for a White-headed Duck, which had gone! While we were there we saw a few duck, the best being 9 Goldeneye, also saw 3 Redpoll, a Chiffcaff, around 50 Redwing and 25 Fieldfare.


In Belize, 21 new birds seen today.









Photo: Crested Guan. 


Another visit to Snuff Mills seeing the Dipper again and 5 Grey Wagtails, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and at least 8 Jays.


A trip to Portland, where there were lots of Meadow Pipits, 2 Black Redstarts, 2 Wheatears, a Chiffchaff and 5 Sand Martins. On the sea we saw the usual seabirds plus a Puffin, a Sandwich Tern and 2 Slavonian Grebes.

At Portland Harbour there were Red-breasted Mergansers, 4 Slavonian Grebes, 3 Black-necked Grebes, a Merlin and 2 Sandwich Terns. At Radipole Lake we saw a Water Rail, a Bearded Tit hearing more, 3 Cetti's Warblers and an adult Mediterranean Gull.


A visit to Portbury Wharf to look for a Long-eared Owl, but it had gone, but did see 2 Little Ringed Plovers.

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