Friday, June 04, 2004

A pretty sleepness night saw me getting up at 4.05 am! I'm crap at getting up normally, so I took the chance to get straight out and I was on the washes by 4.30 am.

On arriving at Eldernell both Tawny and Little Owls were calling excitedly and a Barn Owl was quartering the marsh. What a start. I disturbed a couple of Turtle Doves from the hedgerow and walking west along the south barrier bank, the place started to fill with song - Robin, Wren, Whitethroat, Song Thrush, Lesser Whitethroat, Blackbird, Blackcap - it just went on and on. Then the first of four male Cuckoos started up and things got a little heated when the first of two females arrived on site. Two males were going beserk, sat only a few yards apart on fence posts before chasing each other, chasing the female, chasing Blackbirds.

The RSPB reserve was quite misty first thing, but as the sun gained height and strength it soon burnt off and the Snipe started drumming. No other waders were displaying, with the Lapwings and Redshank spending most of their time chasing the eight crows around. I saw at lest three different crows make off with eggs (prob Lapwing).

I spent two hours in the washes before returning home via Blackbush picking up four calling Grey Partridge, a shedload of Corn Bunts and some Yellow Wags. A quick whiz down to Conquest House was fruitful with Spot Fly and Blackcap. Park House Farm saw the first of the Lapwing chicks on the fen this year (quite large). Pulling up at home the garden was already full of birds including a third brood (of 3) Treeps, more juv House Spuggies, Turts and Yammers. The Jackdaw was soon back on the seed feeder.

Quite a few Swifts around this morning at Eldernell, Coates and Whittlesey (like yesterday around the older parts of Peterborough).

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