Picked up Ben Ward en-route, we headed for the Market Rasen area first, to search for crossbills. There had been several reports from the area recently but there didn’t seem to be much of anything. We were hampered by heavy showers but they stopped around teatime, out came the sun (briefly) and so did the birds. We heard the chip, chip, chipping of crossbill(s), fairly close but couldn’t locate them in the dense conifers.
At Toft res birds noted were yellow wag, common sand, 2 curlews, tree sparrows, gt crested grebe, shelduck, hirundines and swift. Crows tucked into dead trout. It was very quiet but entertainment was provided by trout leaping way out of the water.
It had turned into quite a nice evening by the time we arrived at Laughton forest, that place is fairly vast! Songbirds were singing and the mozzys and midges were biting. I felt I could still be in Scotland. Ben had some repellant which we applied liberally, Blimey that stuff seemed a bit toxic- in fact your skin went slightly numb as if an anesthetic had been applied. So that’s how it works, you still get bitten but don’t feel it!
A nightjar started churring at 10:15 and it hardly stopped. Tawny owls were calling and a woodcock roded over our heads. It was all action for a while. Must have been getting on for midnight by the time we decided to leave and the nightjar, or a different one came to check us out, flying around and calling right above us. It was as if it was saying good night. Marvelous birding.
On the way home I noticed a tawny owl on the grass verge near Coleby, it flew up and passed inches from my windscreen. Will have to do a bit more of this night birding, it’s so different.
My Lincs yearlist now 207 (BOU).