Monday, 19 May 2008

Rain or Shine

I used to be a fair-weather birder - now I just try to avoid the cold wind and the worst of the rain. Saturday was a dreary wet day, but I still put a few hours in, albeit largely sheltered in hides.

Light conditions were very poor, so I 'borrowed' some of Steve Ray's can tell which are his, because you can identify the bird(s).

We spent some time at Grove, seeeing a welcome increase in the number of Martins and Swifts. Sedge and Cetti's Warblers were singing, but we heard no Reed Warblers, Bearded Tits, Cuckoos or Nightingales.

There was a mixed flock of small waders - Ringed Plovers (+ a couple of Littles apparently) and Dunlin - until a Hobby buzzed low and they were gone.
Little else of interest emerged until we heard the purring of a Turtle Dove, which was finally located at the top of a tree. Also notable by their absence were the Ramp Rats, who it transpired had spent the night watching the reserve (with either commendable diligence or incomprehensible foolishness, depending on your view).

Then to the hide at Restharrow Scrape, where birds of note included a Common Snipe feeding just in front of us,
a single Little Ringed Plover, four Little Grebes noisily displaying, and some interesting non-breeding gulls.

Sunday was brighter, and most notable for the marvellous show of Hawthorn blossom this year.


Warren Baker said...

I agree about the hawthorn steve, and I just love its scent, makes remember bird nesting as a youth!

Mary said...

Sounds like a mixed day, but you still had fun :-) I can feel the cold misery in that first photo. The aerial shot is great! Love the snipe photos....I've never seen one. The train shot is neat the way it wraps around and frames the sky and trees and flowers.