Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Spot Fly

May 5th - today looked promising with rain moving through and strong winds, though they were mainly from the west, which is not a great direction, east is much better.  I spent the morning waiting for birds to turn up, but nothing really happened, due probably to the westerlies.

An Arctic Tern arrived mid morning and stayed for twenty minutes or so.  Alan S and I watched a Common Tern chase it on a couple of occasions, so maybe it didn't like it intruding on its territory.  At about 11am, all the terns and hirundines on site formed a big ball and we looked around for the Hobby, but were surprised to see an unseasonal Peregrine fly through, the Arctic never returned.

It was nice to see good numbers of hirundines and Swifts, 150-200 each of Swallow and Sand Martin, 50-100 House Martin and 100-150 Swifts.

I left Alan at midday to go and pick up a new lawnmower blade, after which I decided to check Pump Lane paddocks.  I spied a very orange looking bird distantly to the north, which instantly disappeared and it took a further 15 minutes to find it again - a nice female Greenland type Wheatear.  As I was leaving, a darting bird in front of me proved to be my second earliest Spotted Flycatcher - not an easy bird on patch, particularly in the Spring, so a nice surprise.  It was flycatching for a while and then spent some time sitting on a wire of a fence keeping out of the very windy conditions - I was able to take a poor record shot, but you can see what it is!  Alan had texted in the meantime that a Dunlin had arrived at the pit, but I didn't have the time to go and see it - I'm sure there will be others!

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