Thursday, 5 July 2012

An evening of surprises

The recent bad weather finally abated today, and I was keen to get out. The rather sultry evening was also hinting to me that it could be worth a visit. It certainly was. I decided to park at Morton Bagot church for a change, and had barely crossed the road when my eye was drawn to a movement in a big open tractor barn. Perched on one of the vehicles was a Spotted Flycatcher, and seconds later another, this one with a beak full of insects. Clearly they were breeding.

Spotted Flycatcher
When I first visited the patch in 2007, the species bred at Netherstead Farm, and did so again in 2008. But since then I have only seen them in the autumn. I was therefore very pleased to find this pair.

I continued to the flashes after ringing John. When I got there I immediately saw an Egret flying off. I got on it again after it emerged from behind the hedge and headed south into the sun. Clearly a small Egret I assumed it was a Little Egret. I had noticed there were waders on the flash, and as I started to count what turned out to be nine Green Sandpipers, I heard a Greenshank call, and found that there were two adults with the Green Sandpipers. I tried to subtly shift position to check the other flash pool, but in doing so I flushed everything. John rang to say he had arrived and couldn't see the Spot Flys, so I had to report that everything else had flown off. I have to say I was feeling quite guilty. Fortunately by the time John joined me he had seen the Spotted Flycatchers, and at least eight Green Sandpipers had returned. In the meantime I had seen at least two Tufted Duck chicks on the main pool. Matt had found them last week, I somehow missed them on Saturday, and Dave had counted nine Tufted ducklings, plus 8 - 10 Green Sandpipers on Sunday. Back to tonight, a remarkable 15 Skylarks were suddenly in the air together, and shortly afterwards the Little Egret returned in time for John to see it, before it dropped out of sight beyond the far side of the flash field.

Not a bad evening.

1 comment:

  1. Great news on the spotted Flycatchers Richar. The pair that I discovered just off my patch at Stone church seem to have abandonned this year