The beginning of the month saw further limited flooding, followed by temporary deeper floods towards the end of February, with un-seasonally high temperatures and spring like conditions. 100 Whooper Swans remained early in the month, but the mild conditions triggered an earlier than usual departure, or at least return legs on migration with 227 moving through the site by month end. Four Bewick’s Swans also moved through on the 25th, resting at Bank Island for 30 minutes before continuing eastwards, whilst 1174 Pink-footed Geese headed north-west back to Lancashire. The conditions led to a rapid clear out of wintering Greylag Geese, with many resident birds back in pairs and holding territories by the 22nd. Extensive flooding, combined with spring passage and returning breeding populations, resulted in an increase in diving ducks with 240 Tufted Duck and 81 Pochard. Little Grebes returned to their breeding sites on the Ings from the 23rd when the first returning Great Crested Grebes also appeared. Following a poor winter so far, Coot numbers increased to 100+ by the 20th.
Oystercatcher – Three present throughout the site on the 10th were followed by two at North Duffield Carrs on the 13th and three at Wheldrake on the 17th.
Pale Brindled Beauty