A days holiday from work today (April 14th) gave me the opportunity to have a few hours at King's Mill early morning. Arriving just after 6am, the first couple of hours were relatively quiet although Blackcap & Willow Warbler numbers had dramatically increased since the weekend (with end of 'day' counts of 17 & 11 respectively).
With nothing 'new in' on the water and very little moving, I decided to go and have a bash around the 'Weedy Field' and swiftly bagged a 'reeling' Gropper in the adjacent Rape field. A quick blast around the hawthorn scrub produced little else but as I was heading back towards the water at c8.30, a patch tick called somewhere in the grey skies above....GREY PLOVER!! But where the f*ck was it?? Panicking somewhat, I scoured the skies until my eyes were almost bleedin' and then there it was, quickly zipping away from me heading SE. Luckily I managed to lock the scope onto it and enjoy c5 seconds of Plover arse before it vanished behind nearby Hamilton Hill (KMR list - 175).
Another highlight today was the discovery of a sleek male White Wag' in the paddock adjacent to the visitor centre. The years first Sedge Warbler was chuntering away from an hedgerow behind the Sailing Club stables and at least 3 Whitethroats were noted. It was also interesting to note at least SEVEN Willow Tits (two pairs and 3 singles) throughout the recording area and The SW Corner held 4 pairs of Teal, 2 pair of Gadwall and 2 Snipe. The best day of spring so far at KMR.....roll on the weekend!!
This evening, I went out looking for Yellow Wags in the paddocks and cattle fields around the village. I ended up at the fantastic Doe Hill Country Park and although I failed to locate any Wagtails, I did discover three smart Wheatears poncing about on the grazed turf at the south end of the pools. Doe Hill is severely under watched and with it being literally a two minute drive from my house, I would love to absolutely hammer the place but sadly my obscene & f*cked up mentality towards Notts birding means I could never bang time into a patch that lies in Derbyshire. Below are a few images of the place and some distant Wheatear shots.