Tuesday 20 April 2010

A Silent Spring Gropper

The average spring Grasshopper Warbler makes a lot of noise, and if you're lucky, you may get a glimpse like this...

Actually this may be described as quite a 'good' view!

This evening though I stumbled across one in Beer, which wasn't being 'normal' at all!

I first flushed it out of the middle of a bog standard grassy field, it flew into the nearest hedge. After some watching and waiting it was clear what it was doing. It was feeding in the grass (mostly at the edge of the hedge), and now and then when spooked it would fly back into the hedge before shortly returning to the ground.

It was almost impossible to see in the grass, only occasionally glimpses of its head, but when it returned to the hedge it usually perched up on the outside before disappearing in. Just like this...

Nicely flaunting its undertail coverts in the bottom pic!

The other odd thing about it is it didn't make a noise during the 45 mins I was with it, so I reckon it may be a lady. Its routine behaviour meant Bun and Ian M both successfully twitched it.

Today I've put lots and LOTS of leg work in (for me anyway!!!). First thing this morning I walked Axe Cliff and the Undercliff below, and this afternoon, walked from Seaton Town up to the platform at the north end of Colyford Common via Seaton and Blackhole Marshes. Believe me I've had to eat a heck of a lot of chocolate to keep me going!!!

Wheatears have been the most obvious migrant today, I counted at least 22 during my tour of the marshes, and this one was at Axe Cliff first thing...

A first-year male I presume?

Axe Cliff was quiet, with this Wheatear, a Redstart and two Whitethroats being the best. My tour of the marshes offered me five Ringed Plovers, 15+ Dunlin, nine Whimbrel, three Snipe, three Common Sands, several Willow Warblers and three White Wags (as well as the Wheatears).

Showing its grey rump nicely

And I reckon that's the lot from me today. So shall finish with the view from above Beer Cemetery tonight...

It's a wonder we are getting any migrants with the skies as clear as they are at the mo!!!

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