My first day off and I needed to catch up on some birds. My first plan was the Western Bonelli's Warbler but there had been no news of this bird for a couple of days so I decided to head to Blacktoft Sands for another lifer, the Marsh Sandpiper. I arrived just as the reserve opened and my target bird had been spotted from the Xerox Hide. No messing, I headed staight to the hide in search of my quarry. Birds noted were Woodpigeon, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Hobby, Blackbird, Tree Sparrow, Pheasant, Magpie, Dunnock, Reed Bunting, Common Whitethroat, Greylag Geese, Mallard, Black-tailed Godwit, Ruff, Moorhen, Teal, Reed Warbler, Whinchat, MARSH SANDPIPER, Spotted Redshank, Little Egret, Marsh Harrier, Grey Heron and Lapwing. I found the bird quite easily in with the Godwits and the Spotshanks, even a couple of elderly chaps came in the hide and I pointed out the bird which was sleeping but they said it was too big and not the bird until it lifted its head up and the chaps looked a bit sly and slopped off. Around the rest of the reserve I added Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit, Black Headed Gull, Avocet, Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Redshank, Knot, Shoveler, Snipe, Wren and Collared Dove. Time for another lifer.
Those of you who keep track of this blog will remeber my day out after three lifers and I missed them all, the next bird being one of them. For some reason a White-tailed Eagle has been present in east Lincolnshire for a few months now. I missed it the first time and so this time I was desperate, in fact I was nearly prepared to spend the rest of the day here, I mean without going to west Scotland when would I get a chance of anothe Sea Eagle? I arrived before mid day and hung out with another birder. It was very hot and the odd bird sung or showed but no sign of the eagle. The other chap was preparing to leave when a huge bird came from nowhere, flew across the fields and landed ina tree. It was miles away but it was huge. We both got good looks of the bird and were 90% sure due to size alone. We could see it in the tree and a Carrion Crow handly sat next to it, the eagle was three times the size, it was massive. Then to cap it off a Buzzard flew past and it too was tiny. The WHITE-TAILED EAGLE was in the bag. Unfortunately the heat haze and the tree leaves were making it almost impossible to see the plumage and markings. Other birds noted were Woodpigeon, Jackdaw, Herring Gull, Black Headed Gull, Yellowhammer, Swallow, Carrion Crow, Buzzard, Canada Geese and Moorhen. Quality, two out of two. Time for a third.
Welbeck Raptor Watchpoint.
On the way home I could make a slight detour to this raptor watchpoint where Honey Buzzards have been showing quite often. I arrived just after three and one had showed very well an hour earlier. Doh. The chaps already there were very cherpy and helpful and within minutes one of the chaps came running over and put me on a HONEY BUZZARD. It was very high in the sky but when I got the scope onto the bird I could make out the markings and the small head. I kept the scope on it for several minutes when it started its dispaying movements in the shape of wing clapping above the birds body. For the next ten minutes we all watched the bird doing loads more wing claps before it disappeared behind a tree. Brilliant. Three out of three. Other birds noted were Woodpigeon, Buzzard, Swallow, Blue Tit, Black Headed Gull, Pheasant, House Martin and a Great Spotted Woodpecker.
A brilliant day, ace to get a full house especially after dipping the last three birds I ventured out for.