Sunday, 13 May 2012

Too late to see Red Kite

This morning I was unable to go birding until late morning, and was being teased by a series of text messages from John and Dave, but nothing too alarming. Then Dave rang. He was watching a Red Kite. I have to admit that I did see one here last March, but I still cursed my luck and left the house in a hurry. I was on the patch in 10 minutes, but the bird had gone.

You have to be philosophical about it, and I was pleased for Dave as he joined the small club of Morton Bagot birders with Red Kite on their lists. I quickly gained a year tick as there were now three singing Sedge Warblers in the reed-bed and hedgerow west of Netherstead farm.

Sedge Warbler
Until last year Sedge Warbler was just a passage migrant, and could not even be guaranteed to occur. However, the small reedbed attracted about three pairs in 2011, and breeding was confirmed. Just before Dave headed home we had a rather more surprising encounter as at least one Redpoll flew west. I located two birds heading away but as only one call had been heard I couldn't be sure they were both the same species. It was the late date that made this sighting unusual, and it seems quite possible there may be a breeding pair somewhere not too far away.

My circuit thereafter was fairly uneventful. A male Wheatear, a calling Yellow Wagtail, two Shelducks (John had seen five yesterday morning), and 21 Swifts being the best of the bunch. It turned out that John had actually seen four Whinchats (inc two males) on Tuesday evening. There was no sign of a male Redstart which Matt Wilmott had seen yesterday.

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