At least one of yesterday morning's participants later confessed that he hadn't expected to see much because of the miserable weather. What he hadn't bargained for was to see 40+ species, several of them for the first time, plus excellent views of some summer visitors.
The Thursday morning group were expecting to walk along a section of disused railway line, but there was no cover there, and because of the threat of frequent torrential showers we relocated to Tophill Low.
Highlights included a very early Reed Warbler, a couple of Sedge Warblers, a Common Tern (pm), Barn Owl, 2 Avocets (pm), Brambling (am), Little ringed Plover, Curlew, Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 20 Swallows & 2 House Martins. However, the am crowd were probably most impressed by a group of 8 Ruff, including 2 very handsomely marked males. Unfortunately, they were no longer present in the afternoon.
When I asked the morning recorder how many birds we'd encountered, he replied that we'd seen 42: The answer to the ultimate question of Life, the universe & Everything. Unfortunately, he was the only person who hadn't spotted the Barn Owl, so we had actually seen more species. The afternoon added several we hadn't see in the morning, so the overall tally for the day was 50.
The weather forecast is pretty similar for today, so we are relocating to Tophill again...
The first 10 photographs are (c) 2012 Richard Whateley
6 Ruff among Black-headed Gulls
Wigeon & Little Grebes