1 day, 83 species, within 10 miles of home.

My original plan was to include Freiston and Frampton and score well over 100 species, but half way through the day I switched plans and decided to stay local and see how many birds I could accumulate within a ten mile radius of Grantham.

First of all my lungs were asking for their regular dose of stinky, pooy air at Marston sewage works. Along the road from Barkston skylarks, yellowhammmers, linnets, reed buntings and meadow pipits all look like they are nesting and the swallows are nesting under the rail bridge again. The cuckoo was in good voice as were lots of warblers, you almost need earplugs when a cetti’s warbler lets out his sudden burst of exited babble right where you’re standing.

After a couple of mugs of coffee and a big bowl of porridge the next destination was Belton, mmmmm, nice clean air. Good views of ravens, jays and buzzards were enjoyed. Three garden warblers belted out their beautiful song and a cuckoo was cuckoo-ing.

It was afternoon before I knew it, the Ancaster area beckoned. More woodland species found themselves added to the list and another raven showed.  Along Waterwell lane a distant red kite and a very pale buzzard put in an appearance. All the patridges I saw were of the red-legged variety. Several yellow wagtails around.

At Barkston aerodrome a wheatear hopped along a concreted road. I only checked one small area, the grass was a bit too long, I bet there’s loads of wheatears and other stuff in there, but I didn’t fancy testing out their security systems. A pair of peregrines circled overhead.

Early evening I headed home for dinner and afterwards nipped over to Kilvington lakes. This place can always be guaranteed to give you a bit of eye strain if nothing else!, telescope essential. There are one or two waders here throughout the year and I got a whimbrel (I’d seen it reported on birdguides earlier), greenshank, redshank, ringed, little ringed plover, dunlin and displaying lapwings. Two Egyptian geese made up for me missing the resident pair at Ancaster earlier.

At dusk a hooting tawny owl near Belton was my 83rd bird of the day. Iv’e had full day searches at the coast before and not got that many.

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