Wednesday, 28 April 2021
Tuesday, 27 April 2021
Monday, 26 April 2021
I finally arrived on the Black Sea coast today at our project location following what Dimiter described as Apollo space mission logistics. It was touch and go all the way (so many new covid and brexit regulations) but luckily we ticked all the boxes and for as long as Bulgaria doesn't go red, all should be okay. After leaving home at 530pm yesterday, I arrived here at about 1pm and headed straight out, first to check the surveys markers we recently carried out on our plot and then did a bit of birding along the coast at the archaeological site. Ebirds lists HERE and HERE.
Saturday, 24 April 2021
Got over the farm at dawn this morning following a big push of Little Gulls, terns and waders across land yesterday and a favourable forecast for today. Not quite the shorebird fest we were all hoping for (Zac, Roger, Glenn, Ian and Nick were on their posts too) but a Wood Sandpiper that flew off the North Lake and headed to 100 acre was a clear highlight with supporting cast of 3 Whimbrel (one on deck that joined 2 flying over a while later), a couple of Common Sandpipers, Green Sandpiper and Little Ringed Plover with the bushes and scrub alive with warblers- Whitethroats, Blackcaps, Reed and Sedge Warbler.
Yesterday I was confined to my office getting everything done in preparation for a two week work trip to the Black Sea that starts on Monday. However I kept the windows open and kept an eye out and managed to miss an Osprey but did get Greenshank (calling) and the first Hobby and Swifts for the year. Kojak joined me for a bit of window watching followed by kebabs.
So Spring is in full swing - there are Arctic Terns, waders and Little Gulls pouring across land while even more of them plus skuas including Poms are streaming along the south coast today. It seems a shame to be leaving but with any luck the spectacle that awaits on the Eastern Flyway should be well worth the journey.
Wednesday, 21 April 2021
Had a nice surprise in the moth trap this morning at Beddington Farmlands (well not actually in it but on a shelf nearby)- a Mullein moth, a first for the farmlands. Also a Powdered Quaker with it and an Early Grey.
Also had a Brindled Beauty at the Old Vicarage yesterday. (We also took Jacob to Cotswold Wildlife Park- had Firecrest singing there).
Amazing to get a new moth for the farmlands considering it has been a very cold and slow moth April- only had about five species or so.
Monday, 19 April 2021
Isaac West and I did a 15 hour dawn to dusk on Otmoor today in a big day attempt which resulted in us reaching 100 species on the nose and in the last minutes before dusk. The weather was clear skies and sun and calm (a very light variable wind) so we weren't actually expecting to do very well but highlights included Great Egret (Otmoor tick), male Bar-tailed Godwit, 6 Whimbrel, 1 Spotted Redshank, 2 Ruff, 2 Dunlin, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, the Glossy Ibis, 2 Hobby (Otmoor NFYs), Grasshopper Warbler, over 40 Yellow Wagtails, White-fronted Goose, 2 Cranes, Cuckoos, Bitterns and Curlews. Full Ebird list HERE.
Saturday, 17 April 2021
Its been quite a cold April with a rather persistent northerly and despite plenty of sun during the day it's been cold particularly at night. Seems like spring has been unfolding rather slowly as a result with morning frosts, very few moths and birds trickling in without any classic fall conditions. Despite this there was an interesting large fall mid-week of Willow Warblers and Wheatears during a frosty clear morning at Portland (and nowhere else on south coast by looks of it) so seems like a concentrated flock of migrants hit the cold air mass resulting in an unpredictable and atypical fall there. Also despite the cold weather there's been some quality migrants pushing through slowly with lots of stop offs by the looks of it- there was Greenshank and Whimbrel at the farmlands this morning in clear conditions.
I've not been able to get out as much as liked as busy moving out of the obs and having to quote on Wednesday and Thursday at moment too. Had a look round Little Woodcote with Sid on Friday morning (no migrants except for a single Blackcap), had a Whitethroat on Biker's yesterday on a walk with Gillian across Mitcham Common (very few migrants there too) and been keeping an eye out the obs window- not much apart from a few Swallows.
The mini-farm at the Old Vic is going pretty slow too but broad beans and peas are in and garlic and spring onions are doing well. Got Parsley growing in the window and no sign of the potatoes coming up yet that we put in a few weeks ago.
So all rather slow- a good time to look a things you wouldn't usually have time to look at and appreciate common stuff.