I thought I’d avoid an April Fool’s Day visit to ‘my patch’ in case a long-extinct Dodo should suddenly appear before me (!) so my first wander this month was on 2 April.
There were no particular surprises lurking, just the standard avians – two Pied wagtails and one Grey, and two Redshanks, but the treat was a total of 15 Turnstones, many now showing signs of their change to summer plumage. I assume these birds were enjoying a short stopover in Cardiff Bay before continuing their journey north. According to information on the Joint Nature Conservancy Committee website, the Turnstones that winter on the coasts of north-west Europe (including Britain and Ireland) are part of the Western Palearctic population and breed on Canada’s Ellesmere Island, and in north and east Greenland.
A good comparison: lower bird changing to breeding plumage, upper bird in winter dress.
The rest of April reads pretty much like that first visit – the occasional one or two Redshanks, the occasional one or two Pied and Grey wagtails, and Turnstone numbers in the low to mid teens. The weather varied considerably, from damp and foggy winter-like gloom to brilliant blue skies with the water so still you could perfect reflections mirrored in it, but the bird numbers and varieties remained fairly static.
So, what I think I will do in subsequent months is expand my monthly catch up to include the whole of Cardiff Bay. I walk right round on a regular basis and, as the habitats are more varied, there is more chance of spotting something a little more interesting. Let’s see what May brings …
Redshank and Turnstones: I still love ’em!