Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Diary - end of May 2017

The last ten days has been a bit busy. I took a week off work and did a UK road trip, seeing some relations in Dorset, friends in Yorkshire, fell walking in the Lake District and finally watching my daughter complete the Edinburgh Marathon on Sunday.  Needless to say, I managed to get some decent birding in on the way.

The highlight for me was my second visit this Spring to Ham Wall in Somerset.  Anyone who hasn't been is really missing something special.  Its basically a heron-fest with some decent raptors thrown in for good measure.  The undoubted highlight is the territorial male Little Bittern. I heard it "singing", or rather barking its single note pretty much continuously.  I got two flight views, long enough to get a few record shots.   In addition, there are several Cattle Egret, Great White Egret, Bittern, Marsh Harrier, Hobby, Garganey, Gadwall, Pochard and Tufted Duck.  There is also a Red-footed Falcon at the time of writing!

We also visited Slimbridge and Upton Warren in the Midlands.  I was surprised to see so many Avocet now breeding here.  They also breed in the Cardiff area I'm told, so perhaps its no surprise that we are seeing more in Cornwall recently.  The Black-tailed Godwits were in full breeding plumage and looked really impressive.  Next stop for them is Iceland.

I managed to see the stunning adult Temminck's Stint at Ryan's Field on Tuesday after work.  Whilst this is a regular passage migrant on  the English east coast, it is decidedly rarer in the West Country.  I have only seen two prior to this bird. The previous bird was also an adult at Ryan's Field.

Adult Temminck's Stint, Ryan's Field, Hayle, May 30th 2017.

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