Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Two scarce migrants

As usual my absence from the country for the first couple of weeks of the month coincided with an almighty influx of rare birds into the county. Nothing very rare was reported from the farm, although a Bee-eater seen on the wires along the approach road came tantalisingly close.

With weather conditions still conducive to arriving migrants, I just have to get down there as often as I can just now. After a hectic morning's work, I arrived at mid afternoon today and enjoyed a gentle bimble around. The gorse and blackthorn hedges are in full bloom, the lady's smock is out in the meadows and orange-tips are on the wing. I counted six singing Sedge Warblers, a couple of Whitethroats and three Skylarks.

Walking along the edge of the heathland, I lifted my binoculars to check out a particular bush which I consider a sure bet for a shrike one day and was dumbfounded to see a Hoopoe fly in and land right beside it! After standing completely still for several minutes, it flopped across the Plantlife pond, landed right on top of the bank, preened its feathers and settled down for a good sunbathe. Of course, my camera was back in the car and by the time I returned to get a photo, the bird had vanished.

Tony arrived a few minutes later but the Hoopoe refused to show again. We walked back to the yard just as a Short-eared Owl appeared over the arable fields. Now this was much more co-operative and gave a fantastic display of hunting for the next half hour. Although Short-eared Owl has been recorded on the reserve a few times, this was my first here , so it was a great day for me.

1 comment:

  1. Welcome back Andy. Sounds like you had a brilliant day. Windmill gets better and better.