Last night I did a nocturnal bird survey for work. I wasn't meant to be doing it but last weeks snow made some survey rearrangements necessary so I stepped up to the plate for the joyous event of a survey from 8pm to 3am (this after a full day in the office too!) Love it!!
The survey was however much more interesting that I'd expected! Highlights were numerous and included the following:
1. 1x Jack Snipe - feeding in a puddle!
2. 27x Woodcock - all over the place! Some giving really good views. I managed a picture (record shot) of one of them on my phone (below). Not great but you get the idea!
Woodcock (Phone-binned) in the middle of the night!
3. 2x Barn Owl - very good views (Barn Owls all over the place at the minute!)
4. 4x Tawny Owl - very vocal with one showing very well
5. 260+ Lapwing
6. Wigeon (several heard)
7. 2x Mute Swan
8. 1x Red-legged Partridge - sat in a field looking a bit confused!
Today I was fairly tired so didn't get out until late morning, the local dog walk produced several smart Yellowhammer and a vocal Great Spotted Woodpecker. Skylark were up and singing for the first time this year which was nice to hear. A couple of Mistle Thrush were in a spot I've not had them before which was cool.
A stop off to look for owls drew a blank but a check of the river resulted in great views of Little Grebe - not that you'd believe it from the picture below!
Little Grebe - (Phone-scoped)
Floods on Bubwith have appeared since the snow melt which allowed the river to burst its banks, these floods held 500+ Wigeon, 50+ Teal, 20+ Mallard, 20+ Pintail (mainly drakes), 5+ Gadwall, 250+ Lapwing, 6 Curlew, Grey Heron and Cormorant with a few gulls (mainly Black-headed and Common with a sprinkling of Great Black-backed) present. Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and Buzzard were all evident. In addition, a flock of approx 155 Pink-footed Goose flew west over South Duffield.
After the long and successful trip south for the Spanish Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco and Paddyfield Warbler a couple of weekends ago (read all about it here) another trip down south may be on the cards, Common Yellowthroat in South Wales.... tempting, very tempting!!!....