Sunday, April 26, 2009

Stilt and co

I had a mad day of birding yesterday. Jo, Jaz and Ed were at a singing workshop for several hours, so I knew I was going to have a big birding window.
But naturally, I had to have a pre-workshop early start. I chose the Nene Washes where the highlights were:
Merlin, immature bird perched some 6 feet from my car,

Avocet, a colour-ringed bird, my first of the year, and hen later perched on ditch sides in the same area.

Wheatear, two early morning females, which I only saw on my way out,
Roe Deer, a straggly, moulting buck grazing on the washes.

This Redshank wasn't keen on having its nest trampled on...
During the songfest I was back at the washes, though now between Eldernell and March Farmers. Highlights:
Bar-tailed Godwit, 14, including 10 superb red males, year ticks,

Blue-headed Wagtail, 1 female-type (see below), among 20+ male flavissima-race birds

Two flavissima Yellow Wags
Hobby, my first of the year (and the fourth falcon species of the day)
Peregrine, hunting male disturbing all the waders including
Ruff, c20, including some superbly plumed males,
Greenshank, another year tick
Marsh harrier, a mad amount of breeding behaviour from several birds

After picking up the gang, we spent a couple of hours playing at Ferry Meadows. There were 42 Common Terns and a flockk of 15 early Swifts.

It was on the drive back from there that we got the call: "Drop everything, there is a Black-winged Stilt at Maxey!" said Chris Lines in a shakey voice.

What a great bird: PBC tick number 230. This pic is by Bob Titman as I didn't have time to grab my camera en route.

After, a bit of evening birding which went on till after dark, during the day I had added 6 birds to my year list, including 4 'elites' according to Weedonian PBC rules. My PBC year list now stands at 163 species.

No comments: