Day listing 14th Sept. 2015
We started off at Belton before 4am. Hard work but someone’s got to do it. 3 species of owl were logged in no time. This place is owl city, with owls guaranteed if you visit at dawn, dusk or night. First bird was a tawny, sitting in the middle of the road! Several others heard. A couple of little owls seemed to be calling to each other. 2 barn owls were seen perched on fence posts, with another on a road sign on the high dyke.
Gib point nnr was reached before sunrise, where we headed for Mill hill. Seawatching produced a couple of great skuas, 5 or 6 arctics and a possible pom but we weren’t sure so didn’t tick that one. One of the bonxies was audaciously harassing a cormorant. Arctics chased sandwich terns and a little tern. Several gannets flew north, along with a couple of eiders. 4 brent geese went south, wigeon and teal came ‘in off’
Tide was in, the displays from the swirling, murmurating knots were breathtaking. Must have been 20,000+. Lots of other shore waders were roosting on the sand ridges, barwits, grey plovers, and redshanks all seen in the hundreds. A peregrine flying through really shook everything up. Spectacular.
The first of the day’s many showers came. It was grey and ‘orrible. From the comfort of the hides we watched 5 spoonbills at close range. Hoped-for scarce migrants couldn’t be found. Passerines were hard to come by. We departed Gib around midday with 75 species noted.
Freiston shore didn’t give us much so we buzzed over to the ever reliable Frampton marsh where we found a wood sandpiper and a couple of crackin’ juvenile curlew sands. By now we were getting some mega heavy showers and took a couple of soakings. Heard later there was a tornado near Sleaford. The weather was to remain dodgy for the rest of the day but we pushed on. Small passerines were off the menu. We had nudged up to 92 birds.
Driving on towards Kirkby through torrential rain it was nearly dark, such was the effect of the storm, though it was only about 5 o clock. At the pits we added a few more bits and bobs but failed to find the garganey Ben had seen the day before. 97 sp now. Darkness descending. Whizz to Woodhall. Pochard added. Sand martin added. 99 sp. Nearly dark. Let’s go home. Damn! Hold on. HOBBY, Ben called. TON UP. Iv’e quite often seen hobbys at this time, they must have a liking for moths I think.
We’d actually both seen 99 sp each to be precise, as we both missed one bird that the other of us didn’t see. 21 wader sp wasn’t bad.
Sketch of the day.