March, the transition between winter and spring…..depending on the weather. March saw just four additions to bring my personal total to 107 as I waited for the start of the spring migrants at the month’s end. Our Bird Race team fared better with seven additions (including Goldeneye, Ruff & Bearded Tit) to 111.
The Iceland Gull was still present on the mud on the 1st otherwise it was only the regular wintering species to hold the interest until mid-month. Up to three Jack Snipe (104) appeared and I eventually located one on the Purfleet Scrape on the 17th. Thereafter I managed to observe this species fairly regularly with one on the MDZ scrape on the 25th. In fact the 25th, Good Friday, saw some beautiful spring weather but the hoped for Swallow, Sand Martin or LRP did not materialise. Nonetheless I spent the whole day around there reserve, opening with nine Common Scoters on the river, and ending with a Great Egret (106) first found by Howard earlier in the week, and a singing Blackcap (107) at the visitor centre. Spotted Redshank, Jack Snipe, two Short-eared Owls and Water Pipit contributed to a memorable day’s watching.