Thursday, 12 April 2018
Shelduck and Rock Sparrows
The rain stopped more or less around 11am so I ventured out on my bike to the Tardoire. A pair of shelduck were there to greet me although they soon flew off further down the valley. The species is classed as a rarity in Charente and is essentially a passage migrant. Two stilts were also present, probably the same couple that I saw two days back.
I weakened and took the car to scan the Bandiat where the red crested pochards were still present but there was precious little else on the water other than a crested grebe. More than one nightingale was singing as were several blackcaps which seeem to have arrived in force. My first whitethroat of the year was also present in his fresh breeding finery.
The trip home took me over the plains where a pair of stone curlew landed in a field and disturbed the 28 rock sparrows which I had just counted. A female hen harrier flew by slowly, my second of the species today as I saw a male earlier.
Two black storks and two white were reported from the Tardoire after I had left the scene. You can’t win them all.