Thursday, 16 February 2012

Spectacular Nocturnal Survey + Local Patch

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!!!....


  1. As the Cider Ad says, What a refreshing change !

    That Woodcock picture musta took a bit of juggling about to get !
    Up the digi-binners !

    PS: Dont forget, if you go out night-birding long enough, its only a matter of time before you take a pee on an electric fence ;-)

  2. Haha, nice one Stevie!! I've managed to avoid the electic fences so far at night (not so lucky during the day though!)

    Luckily I had a third hand and landrover window to help with the Woodcock pic, otherwise it would have been a bit impossible!