Ben Ward and me went on another quest for a big day list. That lad’s as keen as Colemans, I’m sure he wouldn’t have said no to a midnight to midnight job. As it was we went for pre dawn to after dark and logged 95 species, venturing into Rutland. Not bad for late Oct.
On the way home we couldn’t agree on the top three birds of the day, but the top three from each site visited didn’t look too bad.
Owls are bread and butter here, we had tawnys and little calling and a barnie swooped in front of the car.
Top three here were a jack snipe flushed, a yellow-legged gull on ploughed fields, (This bird showed characteristics of subsp. atlantis with it’s dark looking hood and fairly dark upperparts) and calling water rails. See Bens pics on his twitter account @benwardbirder
The American golden plover provided Ben with a life tick, while searching for it we found our second yellow-legged gull of the day and five red kites made third spot here.
The pick of the pops here were great white egret, red-necked grebe (Ben’s 2nd lifer of the day)and black-necked grebes. The place heaved with wildfowl.
A juvenile spotted redshank provided great entertainment as it struggled to eat a spiny stickleback. A marsh harrier hunted the marsh and a couple of whooper swans fed with mutes.
As we ventured out to the Witham mouth at dusk we encountered some wildfowlers, their decoy callers audible. Ducks were being pushed by the high tide.(There’s not a lot of skill involved is there?)
Some 25,000 (no exaggeration) gulls, mostly herring streamed into the wash to roost. Quite a sight.
Crazy what we missed – no long tailed tit or greenfinch seen, nor mistle thrush or redwing, but most notably,after visiting Frampton and the Witham mouth we failed to see a single blinkin’ oystercatcher.
A couple of the birds were year ticks for me today