Thursday, 21 June 2012

Comfortably Numb

Ok. (Ok, ok). The general consensus, easy to get bogged down in and held by me at least on and off, that June more or less sucks out here isn’t actually (quite) true. Some enforced rest from the grind of spring is actually (very) welcome and there are plenty of other things to be getting on with ranging from paperwork and books (three so far this month) to the odd seabirding trip and running Attenborough and The Wall on continuous loop (not simultaneously…); then there is plotting your next birding move on a global level, etc etc.

After what felt like a pretty damn hot and steamy May, June has actually been pretty mellow in contrast – once you’re over the mental hurdle of actually getting out into the field, it has actually felt pretty pleasant most of the time (well, before 0900 and after 1700 anyway). Four year-additions in three weeks i.e. one more than the whole of May, is a pretty damning indictment of the latter month. The first was easy with a bit of ‘scope work: Bridled Tern, my last slam-dunk, fell within seconds of seriously looking and so allowed me to spend most of the rest of the time poring over the only accessible bit of freshwater on the island, the Phragmite-fringed pond in the middle of the golf course. This has proven pretty good value; two Little Bitterns on the first crack, a Purple Heron (only my second in spring on the island) on the next, then both Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters and Sand Martin the following weekend. A lot of waiting for dragonflies eventually yielded a small Acro next time round and a pre-work return two days later with the tape instantly pulled out two Reed Warblers, one of which eventually started to sing. Although not really surprising, this was handy enough – I only have one previous record for this species on AD. Other odds and sods included Barred Warbler and Common Whitethroat as late as June 9th, up to 23 Caspian Terns trundling past the balcony on two separate nights with Osprey on another, Sooty Gull with a gang of Lesser Crested Terns, Oriental Honey-Buzzard(s) still hanging around and up to 40 Socotra Cormorants in one place at one time.

I won’t say I won’t be glad to be able to start to run like hell come next weekend, but for now the above doesn’t strike me as too bad a haul.


Total so far - 169 (96%)
Last addition – Eurasian Reed Warbler (19th June)

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