Sunday, 26 June 2011

Tophill Low

With things going quiet just lately my thoughts turned to sites in the region that hold their own spaecialities.
Just lately the kingfishers have been back at Tophill, so there I went.
Quite a strong wind had loads of swifts feeding along the edge of D res along with a few little gulls.
The hide was empty when I got there and it took about 2 hours for the kingfisher to show, but I was kept entertained by numerous reed warblers, a juvenile heron and a family of little grebes.
The kingfisher stayed for around 10 minutes giving some fantastic views.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Nightjar Safari

I had a great evening out of county last night on the hunt for nightjars.
First we walked through a dense birchwood in search of adders and despite the hot temperatures we were rewarded with great views of a basking male, we also saw a variety of dragonflies and the only one I could confidently identify was a broad bodied chaser.In the birchwood we had brief views of a jay, a pair of great spotted woodpeckers and a family of long tailed tits.
next stop was the edge of the marsh and again we were rewarded with the sight of two large heaths that posed rather obligingly.
further round we went and heard a distant cuckoo until we reached our intended destination.
It looked promising as we watched a hunting hobby and then we waited.
The mosquitoes and midges were absolutely unbelievable-we were unprepared and it was almost unbearable with constant bites and insect buzzing round all the time.
Fortunately another birdr gave us some insect repellent and this did the trick albeit we had already been bitten half to death.
The night was perfect and the wind disappeared, it was great to heard the birdsong at 10.30 in almost pitch black-we could pick out robin, blackbird, whitethroat and tawny owl.
Then as it was almost pitch black the nightjars started churring, first one then another we counted seven in all and a couple were clapping and calling.
Unfortunately and despite waiting while gone 11 we didn't see any in flight, but the experience was truly magical, even the insects added to the plot.
Will definitely be going again, thanks to Sam for great company.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

American Wigeon

Just popped out to Tophill Low this evening for a look at a reported pair of American Wigeon.
Not exactly what I would expect at this time of year but a legacy of last weeks strong westerly winds?
No signs of any rings so on the photo list it goes.