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On the 18th May:


A visit to Chew Valley Lake, on the way seeing a Little Owl at Chew Stoke.

At the picnic site by the lake we saw a Grey Wagtail, a male and female Blue-headed Wagtail and 8 Canada Geese. Around the rest of the lake there were 3 Cuckoos, 5 Common sandpipers, 4 male Ruddy Ducks, 6 male Pochards, a male Wigeon, a male Shoveler and lots of Reed and Sedge Warblers.

Then we went to Stock Hill seeing lots of Willow Warblers, also Chiffchaffs, Goldcrests and Coal Tits, 2 Mistle Thrushes and 2 Tree Pipits.

We also saw an Adder, which although I had glimpsed them as a boy, I had never had a good look at one, and it was a first for Laurel.






Canada Goose. 


An evening visit to Chew Valley Lake, stopping on the way to see the Dipper pair near Chew Magna. At the lake the best were 3 Black Terns and 4 distant terns which were probably Common Terns. Photo: Dipper.


Overnight at Cley, in the morning at West Runton we saw a Fulmar, 2 Gannets and 3 Turnstones, then spent the morning at Titchwell where we saw 4 Marsh Harriers, lots of Bearded Tits, 3 Black Terns, a Grey Wagtail, 10 Whimbrel, 3 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Wigeon, a Little Gull, a male Montagu's Harrier, a Wood Sandpiper, lots of other waders, an immature Kittiwake, c10 Velvet Scoter, a few duck including a male Garganey, a Bittern and 2 Little Terns.

We continued to Snettisham seeing lots of Common Terns, 2 Wheatears, lots of waders including 6 Whimbrel, another Marsh Harrier and a 2nd summer Mediterranean Gull. On the way home we called in at Wheeting again seeing lots of Grey and Red-legged Partridges, 2 Stone Curlews, 2 Wheatears and 2 Cuckoos. With todays extra birds it brought the weekends total to 136 species.


In Ontario, 5 new birds seen today.










Willow Flycatcher.  


Leading a Wingspan Bird Tour to Point Pelee in southern Ontario. A new mammal seen today.


We started today in the woodland area at Minsmere seeing 2 Nightingales, 2 Marsh Tits, 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Cuckoos, 2 Garden Warblers, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, hearing a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and 4 Nuthatches, also seeing a Spotted Flycatcher and a Treecreeper. Then we drove to Lowestoft where we saw 8 Kittiwakes, 2 Fulmars and a female Black Redstart. At nearby Lound Water there were 2 more Spotted Flycatchers, a Cuckoo, several species of warbler, ducks and grebes, a Kingfisher, another Treecreeper, 4 Redpolls and 2 Turtle Doves. At Winterton there were lots of warblers, also 10 Turtle Doves, 6 Yellow Wagtails, 28 Yellowhammers, 10 Redpolls, 5 Cuckoos, 11 Tree Sparrows, 2 Stonechats, 2 Spotted Flycatchers and an immature male Eider. At Weybourne there were 2 more Fulmars and a Gannet, with our last stop at Cley, where the best were 4 Avocets and 2 Cuckoos.


In Tunisia, a new mammal seen today.


In the Russia Far East, 1 new bird seen today.











Tristram's Bunting. 


On a birding holiday to Turkey. 4 new birds seen today.


On West Sedgemoor on the south Somerset Levels to sound record for a BBC programme on bird song, together with cameraman Barrie Britton we attempted to synchronise filming and recording Nightingale, as however good the sound editors are, it is virtually impossible to match one individuals song with another, also, even if it is the same bird recorded matching the right sequence to picture is extremely difficult. So, we spent several hours, from dawn onwards, with 2 Nightingales trying to achieve this, recording the song was the easy bit, getting the bird in the open and filming it took a lot of patience, and, we soon learned we had to back board each take.






Recording of the Nightingale after we had finished filming.


The other species I was here to record was Sedge Warbler, there was a tiny hide out on the moor alongside a reedy ditch, only large enough for one person, the warbler was faithful to this patch of reeds, so at least it was the same bird that had been filmed.







I saw 6 Sedge Warblers in this area, also there were Chiffchaffs, 2 Cuckoos, about 10 Lapwings, 2 Roe Deers, 2 Blackcaps, a Whitethroat, a Lesser Whitethroat, 4+ Curlew, 2 Buzzards, 20+ Mute Swans, 15+ Grey Herons and 7 Hares, several seen chasing each other around and 2 seen 'boxing'.

Nightingale, song - Nigel Tucker
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Sedge Warbler, song - Nigel Tucker
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A visit to the Black Rock Reserve in Cheddar Gorge seeing lots of warblers, a pair of Redstarts and 2 Ravens.

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