Monday 7th March.
Suns shining for a change so i popped into Pensthorpe for an hour.
BEARDED TIT (Panurus biarmicus)
Also known as a Bearded Reedling a brown, long-tailed bird, usually seen flying rapidly across the top of a reedbed. Males have black 'moustaches' rather than 'beards'. They are sociable and noisy , their 'ping' calls often being the first clue to their presence. They are particularly vulnerable to severe winters and their population has declined in recent years, making them an Amber List species.
LAPWING (Vanellus vanellus)
Also known as the peewit in imitation of its display calls, its proper name describes its wavering flight. Its black and white appearance and round-winged shape in flight make it distinctive, even without its splendid crest. This familiar farmland bird has suffered significant declines recently and is now an Red List species.
Lapwings are found on farmland throughout the UK particularly in lowland areas of northern England, the Borders and eastern Scotland. In the breeding season prefer spring sown cereals, root crops, permanent unimproved pasture, meadows and fallow fields. They can also be found on wetlands with short vegetation. In winter they flock on pasture and ploughed fields.
REDSHANK (Tringa totanus)
The redshank is a medium-sized wading bird. It has longish red legs and a long, straight bill. It is grey-brown above and whitish below. In flight, it shows very obvious white rear edges to the wings and a white 'V-shape' up its back. The greatest concentrations of breeding birds are in parts of Scotland and north-west England. In winter, as many as half of the birds in Britain may be from Iceland. The numbers breeding on farmland are declining, due to drainage of farmland. Overgrazing of coastal marshes is also removing breeding habitat and breeding birds are increasingly dependent on nature reserves.
The redshank is an abundant and widespread wading bird on coasts - look for it at RSPB coastal reserves. Inland, you can look for it at reserves where there is wet grassland for it breed and feed on, especially in the northern half of the UK.
EUROPEAN STILT (Himantopus himantopus)
Adults are 33–36 cm long. They have long pink legs, a long thin black bill and are blackish above and white below, with a white head and neck with a varying amount of black. Males have a black back, often with greenish gloss. Females' backs have a brown hue, contrasting with the black remiges. In the populations that have the top of the head normally white at least in winter, females tend to have less black on head and neck all year round, while males often have much black, particularly in summer. This difference is not clear-cut, however, and males usually get all-white heads in winter.
Immature birds are grey instead of black and have a markedly sandy hue on the wings, with light feather fringes appearing as a whitish line in flight.