Monday, September 01, 2014

Summers End!

Well from a meteorological or astronomical point of view, 'that's the end of summer 2014', so I thought I'd best catch up on the blog, new month new post so to speak!

Dakota C47 Sky-Train Overflies French Minesweeper M650 in Boscombe harbour!
I've not really had much to blog about over the past week or so regarding any of my pastimes, having made a few wrong choices recently, which areas to visit etc. I missed the Draycote Water Cattle Egret by minutes and finally compounded by the sheer bad luck of arriving at Bournemouth Air Festival on Saturday to witness two Lancaster bombers in flight, only to find the visiting Canadian Lancaster had shed an engine and was not displaying. Still a good time was had and some of my favourites still appeared, like the amazing Avro Vulcan, Hawker Hunter and the C47 Sky-train, one of the workhorses of WW2.

Hawker Hunter - Another real favourite
I arrived at Draycote Water this morning (Tuesday 1st) in between the rain showers and met up briefly with Richard and Dave along Farborough Bank. I was aware of an immature Shag being reported by Tim Marlow so before heading off in search managed a good little spell with the dynamic due which yielded: Redshank, (2) Lesser Whitethroat, (2) ♂BlackcapCommon Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, (6) Meadow Pipit, Goldcrest, Peregrine and well over 50+ Yellow Wagtails by the time I'd caught up with the Shag and turned for home. On route back 24 Greenfinch was a superb count, along with (6) Common Tern and (3) Yellowhammer.

Spotted Flycatcher - One of eleven at Napton!
I abandoned a stop off at Napton Reservoir which coincided with a real downpour and headed off back to the boat for lunch. By the time I returned later in the afternoon the sun was breaking through but the best I could manage was a single Spotted Flycatcher on the lower fields with no sign of Richards Whinchats from his Sunday visit.

However, Napton-on-the-Hill was a real treat in the late afternoon with an amazing hours birding. The so called 'Gully' was a flurry of activity with Common Redstart, (11) Spotted Flycatcher, (2) Hobby, (11) Raven and (4) Buzzard. A walk around the marina this evening in search of any of the three Tawny Owls I heard calling last night proved fruitless but (8) Linnet, (4) Tree Sparrow, Willow Warbler, Garden Warbler and my first Willow Tit on site made it worthwhile.