Sunday, 22 September 2013

19th-20th September

A busy couple of days saw me help out with a couple of surveys and sneak in a bit of batting and birding too. On the 19th I popped in to Ouse Fen where 5 or 6 hobbies were sat around on posts along Cuckoo Drove. They included an obliging 2nd calendar year bird sat close to the main track. A little later a bittern showed in flight. It's not quite the Somerset Levels or Minsmere but this species is seen now on most visits to the site, proving they're going from strength to strength in the county.

That evening I joined some bat catchers at Grafham. It was quiet but we caught an adult female brown long-eared. There were a good few pips about and we glimpsed a Myotis spp, a Natterer's or Daubenton's (I also think I had Natterer's at Over Village earlier in the evening). Tawny owls were vocal at both sites. I got home about 12.40am.

The following day I called in to Lynford Arboretum where two young male two-barred crossbills were showing well with at least 8 common crossbills. Going through my photos afterwards I noticed a juv female next to one of them - how did I manage to miss that in the field?!! Strangely a tawny owl was vocal here too, despite it being mid afternoon!

On the way home I called in to a traditional stone curlew site and counted an impressive 65+ birds. I pay about one visit a year to this location and last year counted an astonishing 88 individuals, though I believe counts of over 100 have been made as both adult and juvs gather from miles around before embarking on their journey south.

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