A very early morning drive from Bristol to Holme-next-the-Sea on the North Norfolk coast, on the way seeing 2 Hedgehogs, 10+ Turtle Doves and 2 Grey Partridges.
Arriving at the Holme Bird Observatory we quickly saw the bird we had come for, a male Black-eared Wheatear, a new bird for us. Seen on the main track to the Obs, the bird was flying around, perching on Bramble and Sea Buckthorn and feeding on the ground.
Later, at Snettisham we saw 4 Little Gulls, 700+ Oystercatchers, at least 8 Common Terns, 2 Little Terns and a few small waders.
Illustration by Laurel Tucker.
An early morning drive to Cornwall, to Sharp Tor on Bodmin Moor to see a female American Kestrel, a 2nd British Record with the 1st, a male, only a month before on Fair Isle.
The bird was seen near the summit of the limestone outcrop where there was an old quarry edged by telegraph wires, which the kestrel regularly sat on. It also perched on the quarry rocks, but the wires gave it the best vantage to spot prey, often dropping from them to catch insects on the wing and rodents amongst the grass, at times staying in the grass for long periods. The only identified prey was a vole which was taken up to the wires to eat. Watched for around 2 and a half hours.
Also in the area were 2 Redstarts, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, a Tree Pipit and 3 Cuckoos.
On the way back we stopped at Yanner Wood on Dartmoor seeing 6 Wood Warblers, lots of Marsh Tits, a few Coal Tits, a Treecreeper, 3 Pied Flycatchers, 4 Mistle Thrushes, another Redstart, 2 Spotted Flycatchers and 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers.
Painting and drawings by
In California leading an Ibis Tours group, 6 new birds and a new mammal seen today.
Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel.
In Kansas on a sound recording trip for the BBC series 'Land of the Eagle'.
In northwest Spain on a sound recording trip to the Picos de Europa mountains.
A visit to Slimbridge where there were lots of juvenile birds around the site. On the South Lake there were c100 Black-tailed Godwits with another 15 very close to the Rushy Hide, also lots of Avocets with various sized broods of chicks, 8 Redshanks, a 2nd summer Mediterranean Gull, a Crane, 2 Little Egrets, Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs, Reed Warblers, a Sedge Warbler and a Cetti's Warbler.
Black-tailed Godwits and 2nd summer Mediterranean Gull.