May 2009

Scanned images from the past now online here.

Woodland birds were thin on the ground at Nagshead RSPB reseve on 31st. I saw 3 spotted flycatchers, one polygynous male pied flycatcher, and 1-2 wood warblers.

Nightjar churring on the Mendips on 25th.

6 buzzards soaring together from my back garden on 24th.

The only red kite I saw from the London train on 18th was one flying over Sainsbury's Car Park in Didcot.

The afternoon of 17th gave frequent and heavy rain showers. I spent a couple of hours in Stratford hide at Chew Valley Lake. Large numbers of swifts and hirundines fed over the water during the showers, and I photographed this swift with the 1D Mark IIN.


Cormorants were sunning on the Stratford island, and the drake ferruginous duck fed close offshore (but was usually partly obscured by reeds).


ferruginous duck

Reed warblers appeared sporadically outside the hide, and a hobby flew right past the hide. One lucky birder saw a hobby take a swift, both birds landing into Heron's Green Pool.

reed warbler

After last evening's pomarine skua sightings, I went to Severn Beach on 16th for high tide, but the winds had subsided. A group of 5 arctic skuas, 2 kittiwakes and a hobby flying across the estuary from the Welsh side were the only birds of note.

A hobby in Flax Bourton on 12th.

A first-summer purple heron at Heron's Green Pool, Chew on 10th.

purple heron

purple heron

The bird was chased off by a grey heron at 20.23h, and flew N towards Villice Bay where it was lost to view. 2 ringed plovers also present, and dunlin heard.

purple heron

Grey long-eared bats are the bat species we know least about in Britain, where they are at the NW edge of their range. We've started a research project on them, and on 6th I helped my PhD student Orly Razgour attach radio tags to a couple in Devon.

grey long-eared bat

Singing male lesser whitethroat and 2 yellowhammers in the fields between Flax Bourton and Wraxall, 3rd.

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