An evening visit to Stock Hill where we saw a Long-eared Owl flying towards a group of conifers, as we approached we saw the owl perched half way up a dead tree, sat close to the trunk at about 30 yards distance, its ears held erect. It seem disturbed when a Tawny Owl called loudly nearby and it gave a corvid-like hiss. Later we heard another hooting in the same area.
An overnight drive to the east coast of Lincolnshire, as soon as we stopped the car by the side of the clay-pit at Chapel St. Leonards we could hear the Great Reed Warbler, its song was so loud. The fringes of the pit were quite thickly covered with reeds, but the bird gave good views as it climbed up reed stems to sing, drowning out nearby Reed Warblers and Blackbirds. A new bird for us.
Later we drove south to Gibraltar Point where there were a few waders including 4 Grey Plovers, also a Marsh Harrier, 2 Turtle Doves and 4 Red-legged Partridges. We continued to Wisbech Sewage Farm where there were lots of Shelduck, a few waders, another Turtle Dove, 6 Yellow Wagtails, a Tree Sparrow, a Cuckoo and a Corn Bunting.
At Titchwell there were lots of Reed and a few Sedge Warblers, 3 Marsh Harriers, 2 Cuckoos, a Greenshank, 2 Bearded Tits, 2 Little Terns, 6 Sandwich and 6+ Common Terns, 2 Snipe, 2 Kestrels and 2 Grey Herons.
We started at Marie Aunord seeing lots of Reed Warblers and a Reed Bunting, continuing along the west coast at Vazon Bay there was a Spoonbill, nearby at Fort le Crocq we saw 6 Oystercatchers, 6 Common Terns, a Kestrel and a Curlew. Then we drove inland to St Saviour Reservoir where we saw a Willow Warbler and a Chiffchaff hearing several more, 2 Spotted Flycatchers and 3 Short-toed Treecreepers. At nearby Les Rauvets Pond at Perelle there was a Garden Warbler, 3 Turtle Doves, another Short-toed Treecreeper,
2 Spotted Flycatchers and a Kestrel. At The Marais we saw a Lapwing, 4 Swifts, 5 Turtle Doves, a Reed Bunting and heard several Reed Warblers, then we drove to Jerbourg in the southeastern part of the island where there was a Cuckoo, another calling and 2 Chiffchaffs,
On our way back we stopped at the reservoir again seeing 3 more Turtle Doves and hearing a Lesser Whitethroat, then at Perelle Bay we saw 2 Curlews, 12 Oystercatchers and 12 Swallows.
Overnight at Cley, in the morning we decided to walk along the shingle bank to Blakeney Point seeing lots of Ringed Plovers, Oystercatchers, Redshank, Sandwich, Common and Little Terns, 3 Grey Plovers, 2 Turnstone, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Gannets, a Razorbill, a Redstart, a Sedge Warbler, 2 Red-legged Partridges and a Magpie, which was a 1st record for Blakeney Point.
Magpie on Blakeney Point.
We started the day at Minsmere where there were lots of Reed Warblers, a Yellow Wagtail, a Turtle Dove and we heard a Bittern. At Westleton Heath we saw a Nightingale, then to Hinton Hall where there were 3 Turtle Doves, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, a Whitethroat, 6 Yellowhammers and 2 Cuckoos.
At Westwood Lodge we saw 2 Turtle Doves, a Cuckoo, a Whitethroat and a Garden warbler, while at Walberswick there was a Short-eared Owl, a Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Yellow Wagtails,
3 Spoonbills and a few other warblers and waders.
Back at Minsmere there were 44 Avocets, 6 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Sanderling, 4 Dunlin, 3 Marsh Harriers, a Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Spoonbills and 2 1st summer Little Gulls.
At Potters Bridge we saw 5 Turtle Doves and 3 Marsh Harriers, probably the same birds as above and the same 3 birds from East Bridge, where we also saw 2 Cuckoos, a Bittern, 3 Hares, 2 Sedge Warblers and a male Montagu's Harrier.
Drawings of Montagu's Harrier
by Laurel Tucker.
Overnight in Fleet, in the morning at the pond we had excellent views of the Great Reed Warbler, for around 2 hours, at a range of 40-50 yards.
Laurel, I and Paul Andrew set off for Chew Valley Lake after hearing that a Whiskered Tern had been seen flying off with a group of Common Terns at Sutton Bingham Reservoir early afternoon.
We thought it a good possibility that its next stop could be here. At the dam we saw 2 Common Terns and a distant tern sat on a buoy. We went to Moreton Hide, where the light was better, seeing 5 more Common Terns in the centre of the lake, then a Black Tern and it was while watching this bird that we saw another marsh tern. As we watched this new bird it showed all the features of a Whiskered Tern.
We watched it for sometime then it flew with another tern showing the same features, there were 2 Whiskered Terns. We watched the two birds until the light faded.
Whiskered Tern by Laurel.
In the Russia Far East, no new bird seen today.
A visit to Chew Valley Lake seeing a Common Tern and the male Ring-necked Duck, then south to Shapwick where there were lots of warblers including 10+ singing Cetti's Warblers, 2 Garden Warblers, also 5 Little Egrets, several species of ducks, a Kingfisher, at least 8 Buzzards, 14 or more Hobbys, a Water Rail, 6 Lapwing, 10 Black-tailed Godwits, a Whimbrel and an Osprey.
A drive from Bristol back to Portishead and Portbury Wharf for a female Red-backed Shrike, now very rare in this area. The bird was sat in a hedgerow and allowed close and prolonged views.
Photo of shrike here.
Video of female Red-backed Shrike, also see here.