Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Jaw Dropping

A Shy Nightingale - is there any other sort?
Record shot of Nightingale on the ground (c) 2010 Tony Robinson
ditto - note rusty tail
Hobby (c) 2010 Tony Robinson - the earliest ever at the reserve?
Bullfinch [male]
Great Crested Grebe
Willow Warbler (c) 2010 Maurice Gordon
Another Willow Warbler!
Blackcap (c) 2010 Maurice Gordon
Comma (c) 2010 Tony Robinson
Apart from a quick glimpse of the target bird first thing this morning, as it flew from one area of hedge to another above a waterfilled ditch, it looked as though the day was going to be a huge disappointment – especially after a longer than usual journey. However, in the last few minutes of the morning session we enjoyed a blast of perfection as a hidden male Nightingale poured out its song in ever changing variety from the depths of blackthorn blossom. I don’t think I’ve seen so many mature people with their jaws open outside of an Old Folks’ Home! The afternoon class began with the same bird only a few feet away from where I had left it half an hour earlier. This time the bird was visible for a few seconds near the top of the blackthorn, and a shape was later glimpsed flitting at the back of the bushes from one area to another & sure enough the song blasted out from the area the dark shape was moving towards. There were plenty of Blackcaps, Willow Warblers & Chiffchaffs, but still no Whitethroats. Many of the morning class stayed behind and were rewarded by the Nightingale coming in to the open & hopping around next to the path. Tony Robinson also managed to get a photograph of a Hobby, which is thought to be the earliest ever recorded at the reserve. Also seen: Treecreeper, Bullfinch, Great Crested Grebes, Willow Tit, Kestrel, Buzzard, Red-legged Partridge, but no sign of last year’s Green Woodpecker. Carol in the afternoon only scored the session 13 out of 10!

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