Saturday, May 02, 2020

πŸ”’ Lockdown Days 36 Thru 39

My first update for several days mainly due to the fact that since my last post on Monday (day 35) things have become a little like shall we say 'Groundhog Day' and I didn't want my reader getting bored of the repetition. Over the period I've completed my daily walks around the reservoir and been monitoring things at the marina but there's been little sign of any major movement. Although the birding has still been very enjoyable, particularly watching the many Hirundines feeding low over the reservoir and the aerobatics of two Common Terns now it would seem resident here.

Common Tern resting at the reservoir ~ Likely 1 of the 2 now commuting across to the marina
Tuesday (day 36) was a very disappointing day considering! A strong breeze from the north-east, low cloud and heavy rain at times and in the peak of spring migration I'd have expected perhaps a little more locally. On the day there were good numbers of Arctic Terns recorded inland and with the exception of two Common Terns, a single Common Sandpiper and two Yellow Wagtails at the reservoir, I found nothing new.  I'm still yet to record Wheatear or Whinchat during lockdown!

View down to the reservoir from Napton Hill
🌦11C to start then ⛈13C ~ Wind →W@10mph  Friday 1st May 2020 ~ Today I took an extended walk to the church at Napton at first light, then up to the windmill and surrounding area, including the old quarry, then down the hill for a circuit of the reservoir before heading back across the canal to the marina. The hill was amazingly quiet with little passing over or indeed on the ground for that matter. At the reservoir, the sluices have now been open for over two weeks and the water is at near capacity, almost eliminating the chances of anything feeding around the shallows. There has also been an increase in the number of dog walkers driving to the site and although I've no reason to complain, its been a terrific spell for me, it's most definitely impacting on the current birding.

Angry skies to the east!
In the afternoon I spent time in between the showers sky-watching, the skies over the last few days have been pretty awesome with some angry scenes to enjoy, along with the odd crack of thunder.

First view of a Hobby as it appeared from the west ~ No. 96 on the 'Lockdown List'
High on my agenda over the past few days has been a Hobby, my best chance of breaking my deadlock of 95 species on the 'Lockdown List'. Today I was rewarded when a bird suddenly appeared over the treetops to the west. Thankfully I'm forever prepared and after an initial few record shots, I needn't have worried as the bird was good enough to stay around for a short while for better views before heading off towards the reservoir!

This very pristine looking Hobby ~ My first of 2020

Hobby Breaks the deadlock ~ Just four to go for the Ton-up!