Sunday, 27 May 2012

Back on top!

Has Oscar been keeping something quiet? Last I heard, he wasn't qualified to comment on what having kid does to your brain... but then he was always a bit of a dark horse! Anyway, back to the business in hand (important or otherwise). After a taking a day off for a S.H.I.Ton Friday (which was only marginally better than Lulu by all accounts: 3 Spoonbill, a late Short-eared Owl and one each of Cuckoo, Spotted Flycatcher, Wheatear and Lesser Whitethroat being the best of it), I hit the road yesterday afternoon.

Being out of the office, I'd missed the local news on Friday - turns out Livermere was having another mini-run of waders. Common Sandpiper (141) didn't put up any resistance, but I was more than a little surprised to find that one of the two near full breeding plumage Knot (142) was still present. Buoyed on by this success (and the glass of rosé that accompanied the fine picnic Becca, Phoebe and another family had brought along!), I decided to head to Micklemere via some likely-looking spots for Turtle Dove, to 'kill time' before chancing my arm with the 2 remaining nocturnal targets.

No joy on the dove front but Little Ringed Plovers (143) were displaying as I arrived at Micklemere, 3-4 Ringed Plover (144) made it onto the list [see 28 May post] and a Barn Owl took my breath away when it landed on a post 2m from the hide where I was sitting, so close that it filled my bins view entirely! I couldn't find the Dunlin that had been reported, and was struggling a bit without my 'scope. A point proved when I read the forum today - someone else had recorded 2 Little Ringed and 4 ('probable Tundra') Ringed Plover there a few hours earlier - looks like a return visit is in order!

Cycling round Kings Forest in the dying light was an interesting experience - deer bounding out in front of me left, right and centre, a dodgy transit van and caravan parked in the middle of nowhere, and countless unseen tyre-destroying objects littering the tracks. I made it through unscathed though, and it was worthwhile: a couple of r(h)oding Woodcock and 4+ Nightjar (145) - 2 seen, plus several churrers and a wing-clapper heard. A noisy family of recently-fledged Tawny Owls on the way home had me convinced they were Long-eareds for a while, until I got stuck into xeno-canto...

Finally staggered in through the front door at 11.20pm, 35.7 miles on the clock and 4 species to the good - but it didn't stop me carbon-birding Lakenheath from 4:55am today, did it Pete?!

1Scolt Head Island Trudge

Percentage of target to date - 94%
Distance cycled - 343.0mls / 552.1km
Latest addition - Nightjar (145) 27 May

1 comment:

  1. Dark horse indeed. Hm......the plot thickens. Literally?