Wednesday, June 09, 2004

BIRDING - in the Brecks
KAF and I had been talking for a few days about going over to see the Golden Orioles at Lakenheath, so tonight was meant to be the night. But . . . we didn't get away on time so rather than abort the evening, we just rejigged and headed in to the Brecks for some old hunting ground stomping for me (an ex Breck resident).

We did a couple of Breck heaths looking for Stonies without any joy (not a great time to look for them mid-June), but we did have a great evening with a family party of Woodlarks (Woodies), a hunting Hobby, a couple of Little Owls and a young Fox wandering around one heath being watched closely by all the rabbits stood up on tippy-toes. Aagh.

A quick nip in to a garage to refuel with . . .chocolate! Wow! Cadbury's Fingers of Fudge - only 15p! What a bargain!! And Curly Wurly only 20p! gotta have those eh!

First two courses over, we head off in to the forest for the main course - Goatsucker (Nightjar) with a generous side helping of Timberdick (Woodcock). Nice!

We arrived at my faithful site of old. I had brought KAF here last year for her first evening of Goatsucking action - and what an evening that was! Would tonight match it?

Within minutes we had Timberdicks overhead. Great start. We wandered up the track to a crackin open clearing and right on cue a bird was calling (not churring) and a male drifted lazily across the clearing. It was still very good light so we could see all the cryptic grey and black plumage and the wing spots looking a lot duller in the light - they almost glow in the dark! We spent an hour wandering the track and had up to six 'churring' males and quite a few really good flight views.

One bird was churring continuously quite close to us and ended with it's 'wing-clapping' display. When it started churring again I waited until it stopped and immediately mimicked the wing-claps. Like a shot it flew towards us, circled us in a tight arc and to investigate us, then drifted off back into the darkness. Great stuff!

The Timberdicks continued to give great views all evening, and as darkness took hold, a couple where chasing each other around calling their high pitched squeaks almost in a frenzy.

When you watch Timberdicks look out for their leg actions when they make their throaty 'grrr-grrr' calls. Crackin' birds!

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