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On the 31st May:


As we were passing Chew Valley Lake we saw a male and female Hobby chasing a Swift which they had singled out from a flock. The pair were incredibly fast, turning and twisting with the Swift, making frequent attempts to swoop and grab it, but always just missing, also misjudging the way the swift broke from a dive. After  about 10 minutes the Swift finally escaped.

We continued to Blagdon Lake where the best birds seen were 2 Spotted Flycatchers and a Turtle Dove. While we were there we met some Ringers who were ringing Tawny Owl chicks, great to see them close-up.

Returning to Chew Valley Lake we only saw a few ducks including 3 male Ruddy Ducks, c35 Pochard, 8 Gadwall and a male Garganey.





Tawny Owl chick. 


Overnight near Minsmere, in the morning at Westwood Lodge we saw a male and 2 female Marsh Harriers, a Spotted Flycatcher, lots of Redpolls, a male Red-backed Shrike, 3 Grey Partridges, heard a Nightingale and 2 Cuckoos. At nearby Hinton Hall we heard another Cuckoo and saw another male Red-backed Shrike. At Westleton Heath there was another female Marsh Harrier, from there we went to Minsmere where there were 6 Spoonbills, 57 Avocets, 81 Shelducks, 2 Grey Herons, 6 Dunlin, 2 Ringed Plovers, a Turnstone, 7 Black-tailed Godwits, 6 Redshanks, an escaped Chilean Flamingo, 3 more Marsh Harrier, 4 Little Terns, lots of Common and a few Sandwich Terns.

On the way home we stopped near Santon Downham seeing several Turtle Doves, 2 Cuckoos, more Redpolls, 2 Tree Pipits and a Woodlark.


A visit to The Marais seeing 4 Curlew, a Lapwing, 2 Redshank and a Little Ringed Plover, which was a 1st record for this area. Then at Le Guet we saw 3 Coal Tits, 2 Spotted Flycatchers and a Goldcrest, hearing several more. At Pleinmont in the southwest of the island there was a Raven, 3 Stonechats, 2 Dartford Warblers, a Whitethroat, 2 Kestrels and on the sea 5 Gannets and a Fulmar. 


An evening drive to South Cerney, but we missed the Bee-eater by half an hour! We did see 2 Spotted Flycatchers, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Cuckoos, 4 Turtle Doves and a possible Natterer's Bat.


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












Taiga Larch Forest near Magadan. 


A trip to Portland where from the bill there were the usual seabirds including a Puffin, also a Storm Petrel and 2 Manx Shearwaters. It was quite around the fields, but, we did see 10 Slow Worms. At Ferrybridge there were 3 Little Terns and 4 Sanderling, and the most interesting birds at Radipole were 2 Cetti's Warblers and a male Goldeneye.


Leaving the hotel I loaded the recording equipment onto the boat which was to take me to the Isle of May, I was met by the warden who helped get everything to my accommodation in the old lighthouse. Later, he showed me around the island and the best places to get close to the seabirds. On the island there were 20,000 pairs of Puffin, 2,000 pairs of Razorbill, 12,500 pairs of Guillemot, 10,000 pairs of Kittiwake, 300 pairs of Fulmar, 17,000 pairs of Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 700 pairs of Eider, 800 pairs of Shag, 8 pairs of Great Black-backed Gull, 600 pairs of Arctic Tern, 150 pairs of Common Tern, 8 pairs of Sandwich Tern, 40 pairs of Rock Pipit, 40 pairs of Oystercatcher, 150+ pairs of Rock Doves, 100's of Rabbits, about 30 Grey Seals, a Whimbrel and many passing Gannets from the Bass Rock.

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