The Stour Valley list for 2018 stands at 135(+1) species so far.
I had a nice quiet walk around Grove this morning with hardly anyone about and although there was nothing startling to see I managed to bump into a few nice birds. A pair of Bullfinches along the entrance track are beginning to be regular, so possibly nesting locally. My first Cuckoo, calling near Middle Drove with a Yellowhammer nearby, a few Reed warblers and about six Sedge warblers singing around the ditches. A male Ring Ouzel dived across the track by Harrison’s Drove hide and it was nice to see several displaying pairs of Lapwing busy in the fields and floods. Several Swallows passed through heading and the fine sunshine brought a string of raptors, a displaying Marsh Harrier and probably three other ranks, 2 Buzzard, a Kestrel and a female Sparrowhawk. Best from my personal perspective was locating a Shoveler nest, the female appearing to lay and then departing ten minutes later. I guess she has not yet completed her clutch, so I hope to be able to keep an eye on her over the next couple of weeks.
I had my first Nightingale and Cuckoo of the year at Grove Ferry this morning. Both in the Sanctuary area.
Malcolm McVail, Richard Collins and myself birded Stodmarsh this Morning. We had 14 Cetti's Warblers, 6 Reed Bunting, 3 Reed Warbler, 2 Sedge Warbler, 4 Jay, 4 Marsh Harrier, 2 Water Rail, 11 Greylag, 2 Stock Doves, +20 Blackcap, 1 Green Woodpecker, 1 Lesser Black backed Gull, 3 Snipe, 8 Lapwing, 1 Greater spotted Woodpecker, 2 Gadwall and 1 Grey Heron.