8th March: At last

After dropping Beth off at her mum's I was undecided whether to go back and do some ironing or take the advice of the above poll and get some birding done. Fortunately I chose the latter.
I decided to do a circuit of Pit-house West starting at the Walesbar end. Things started well with a nice male Stonechat in the Greencore field and a Curlew by the flashes. Another Curlew over 20 minutes later and an obscured owl, roosting in the Long-eared conifers, proved to be a Tawny Owl rather than the expected Long-eared. March is usually the peak time for finch flocks at PHW so a flock of 80 + Lesser Redpolls was not surprising. Being the technophile that I am I had recently uploaded the entire Roche birds of Europe onto my phone, useful if you ever want to tape lure a Gannet or something!! Anyway I stuck the Redpoll on repeat and marvelled at the halo of Redpoll's around my head one of which was a very nicey marked Mealy Redpoll. Once they had sussed that I wasn't one of their gang they buggered off over the hill. The gorse field at the western end of PHW still held a pair of Stonechat. Very little round the pools and reed bed except a Water Rail so I headed back to the flashes where a pair of Redshank had taken up residence. A walk back to the car via the Greencore field revealed that the Woodlark is still present having first been seen in September 2006, it was flushed from the edge of the gorse before disappearing into the sheep field below. All in all an excellent couple of hours filling me with renewed enthusiasm for the coming spring.

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