Saturday 28 March 2020

Lockdown Listing Day Five

Finished the day on a bit of a bum note really, as am pretty sure I let a Cattle Egret through the net.  We have at least one in the Axe Valley at the moment, but it's not flown past whilst I've been looking and I think it's spending most the daylight hours north of us. At about 18:50 I got on to a flock of eight or so egrets ten seconds too late, just as they disappeared behind a house. On size, one right in the middle of the flock was probably the Cattle, but just not enough to confirm. 

The day started off much better, with a phone call from Phil who kindly thought of me when three Med Gulls were flying around over Tower Hide with a small flock of Black-heads.  I rushed out and despite the absolute appalling light, they were easy enough to pick out with my bins...

Awful light but an easy little flock to study

I was actually really impressed considering the conditions that the P900 was able to pick all three out...

Here's two two of them leading the flock - you can see the pale wing tips.

The third - the sun shining through the wing tips helping ID this one, but I think I can make out some slight dark tips making it a second-summer.

You'll be surprised to hear that the Black-headed Gulls were also a new one for the list, their numbers have dropped right off on the Axe over the last couple of weeks (as usual for late March). So that's 51!

52 was a nice surprise, as it was an all-time garden first!  Wheatear.  Yes, over the years I probably could have seen plenty if I'd scanned the distant fields and salt marsh for long enough during spring and autumn - I've just simply never bothered. Today I did, and for ten minutes late morning I watched one feeding in the corner of Norcombe's field. Delightful. But it's a good job they're pale and stand upright - a pipit or such like I would never have seen considering the distance.

Hopefully tomorrow's post will be titled 'Cattle Egret'...

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