Monday, 29 April 2013

Night of the Living Dead

On Friday evening we went to our premier woodland,  not to find summer migrants this time, but to try and find the wader of the woods. We did a complete circuit first where we encountered a Marsh Tit, and heard Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps and Willow Warblers. The weather wasn't brilliant with a cool wind and threatening lowering clouds. As dusk approached we stood on the Heath and watched the skies, but it was at that moment that the heavens opened and first hail and then rain started to hammer down on us, and especially on Chris's unprotected head! 
All pictures (c) 2013 Maggie Bruce
Evening Sunlight
 The Entrance Dunes
 A Green Corridor
 Wood Sorrel
 Hail in the Furrows
I had started to change into my waterproof leggings, when I heard a few strange clicks and then a bird headed into the wood from the west. I assumed it was a Woodcock but I hadn't seen the bill against the sky. We kept looking and some minutes later a more distant bird was seen doing the same thing. This time we didn't hear any accompanying sounds. Finally, a few minutes later I heard some more clicking and 2 birds flew again from the west. Everyone was ready this time & their extremely long bills could be seen against the darkling sky. I had expected to hear the frog-like calls the male Woodcocks make when performing their roding flights.  However, these did nothing more than click.  Perhaps they were travelling some other location to perform their roding, or were these winter visitors on their way back to the east coast before flying across the North Sea? 
Listening for a Marsh Tit?
We waited for a few more minutes, but as the crepuscular evening began to be overtaken by the night I thought it prudent to head back for the cars while we could just about see where we we putting our feet. As we carefully made our way could see an striking yellow sunset, more reminiscent of winter than the doorstep of summer! 
Night Must Fall
 Winter is Coming!
Re: The title of this blog.  I'd been active since 5am, so by 9pm I may not have been at my best!

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