On the 4th October:
An early morning drive to Eye Brook Reservoir in Leicestershire to see a Killdeer, a new bird for us. The only other birds there were lots of duck, 8 Dunlin and lots of Tree Sparrows.
While there we learned of another rarity at Moonfleet in Dorset, so we made the long drive south. Arriving at a ploughed field near the Moonfleet Hotel we saw a Sociable Plover, another new bird for us, it was feeding in the field with a group of about 40 Lapwings and we watched the bird until the light faded.
Above: Killdeer at Eye Brook Reservoir.
Right & below: Sociable Plover at Moonfleet.
Drawings by Laurel Tucker.
A return to Chew Valley Lake to see the Buff-breasted Sandpiper again, and, while walking through the grass at Village Bay to try and get closer to the bird, we flushed a Red-throated Pipit which we only saw in flight and heard calling, even though we searched for some time we couldn't relocate the pipit.
We also saw 18 Little Stints, 2 Curlew Sandpipers, 2 Green Sandpipers, 4 Black Terns, 13 Ruff, c20 Dunlin, a Wheatear and 6 Stonechats.
Overnight on St. Mary's, in the morning we found a Melodious Warbler at Salakee. Then we returned to Holy Vale, a much better day being sunny and warm, but we only heard the Thrush Nightingale during our stay. However, we did see a Garden Warbler, a Pied Flycatcher, a Spotted Flycatcher and 3 Firecrests.
On the Scillonian crossing from Penzance to St. Mary's at the start of a 2 weeks stay on the Isles of Scilly, a few seabirds seen including a Great Skua. On St. Mary's we took the boat to St. Agnes, our base for the holiday, and, immediately went to see the Yellow-billed Cuckoo which was on show for ages. Other birds seen around the island were 2 Stonechats, 2 Red-breasted Flycatchers, a Wheatear, 3 Lapland Buntings and 3 Firecrests.
Still on the Humber and visiting the same areas as yesterday, seeing much the same, at Blacktoft there were more Bearded Tits, around 120 birds and a Tree Sparrow.
A trip to Slimbridge to see a Red-necked Phalarope, then later great views of a Jack Snipe, also seen were 6 Snipe, 3 Ruff, c50 Teal and c15 Wigeon.
A visit to Frampton Court Lake seeing a Great White Egret, 2 Little Egrets and a few ducks and swans.