|Spot the Dunlin|
Thursday, 9 August 2012
Classic early August birds
Thursday 9 August. On a beautiful sunny morning I began birding at Netherstead Farm, counting 60 House Martins and 30 Swallows resting on wires behind the dragonfly pools. I headed for the Flashes as usual, seeing the first two of an eventual tally of four male Common Redstarts, a record day count for the site. For some reason the hedgerows at Morton Bagot really attract this species on passage. I can think of several important Midland birding sites which do not fare as well. I noticed a photographer in his hide at the main pool so I crept past him and then discovered that a second Tufted Duck has a brood of ducklings, this time six. The Flashes contained further surprises as there were three Dunlins, two adults and a juvenile, amongst 10 Green Sandpipers, nine Common Snipe, and 73 Lapwings.
I continued down the hedgerow, seeing a Brimstone butterfly and then hearing the distinctive calls of Spotted Flycatchers. I stood at the gate to survey the back hedge and eventually got at least five Spotted Flycatchers with several Chiffchaffs, the fourth Redstart, and several Goldfinches and Linnets. The Tawny Owl was again in the shed, and I finished back at the dragonfly pools which were alive with Common Blue damselflies, Emerald Damselflies, Common Darters, a Ruddy Darter, and a few Emperors and Brown Hawkers. All very satisfactory.