After a lazy start to the day ( couldn’t be bothered to get up early for the high tide), I arrived at Freiston car park mid morning with the intention of winkling out a few migrants. Conditions weren’t really great but I gave it a go. A good walk along a half mile stretch of trees and scrub along the old sea wall towards Butterwick produced ……. one blue tit! Hardly anything on the way back either, plenty of swallows, a few sand martins and a couple of willow warblers made up the total. It was rubbish to be honest.
A few whimbrels called from the saltmarsh and a raggedy looking marsh harrier drifted inland. A group of 22 little grebes graced the lagoon together with a few common waders.
It was 3pm and still no migrants of note. Then, at the far end of the wetland trail the first of 15 whinchats popped up. Lovely little birds, probably the most I’ve seen in a day. Things were looking up. There were at least 9 in the sunflower field with 6 more on fenceposts, along with 5 wheatears. Some yellow wags fed amongst cattle. Slightly better stuff.
3 more marsh harriers, all very dark juv. types showed up together near the Witham mouth and a hobby caused mass panic amid the hirundines, capturing a swallow. Great action.
As I was leaving Paul Sullivan turned up, along with a few other birders ready for the evening high tide. Paul had seen a couple of black terns at the Witham mouth in the morning.
River Witham, Wyndham park, Grantham. Regular readers will be aware of my fascination of oddly plumaged birds, so I was pleased with this one on my doorstep. I’ve been lucky enough to come across a few leucistic birds, but was well and truly ‘gripped off’ with this one! Sharon, my partner spotted it this morning, whilst walking the dog. I bumped into a photographer, he told me he had been photographing it for two months!
The bird is a juvenile, I will be keeping an eye on it, I wonder if it will develop white feathering all over.
Also here was the long staying white mandarin. (Sharon was the finder of this one, too).
A grey wagtail was at the white bridge.
Sketch of the day.
Moorhen, pen and pencils.
21st Aug 2015
Started off owling at Belton and before sunrise I’d had good views of tawny, barn and little! Best of all was a tawny, startled in the headlights, it flew to an ash and we eyeballed each other for five minutes. Great stuff.
How can you get bullfinch and garden warbler mixed up? Easy- short trumpeting calls were coming from the hedge and I thought they must be bullys but then noticed a couple of garden warblers. They were the juveniles contact calls. Not something heard very often (at least not by me.)
6 spotted flycatchers were flycatching in cow fields at the neck-end. juveniles sometimes begging for food.
Swift over village, later a dozen over Bottesford and a couple over Grantham.
A marsh tit was of note.
2 tree sparrows nearby.
Half a dozen yellow-legged gulls and a possible juv. Caspian gull.
3 painted lady butterflies.
Called into the works office to try and find a member of staff, didn’t find him but did find a couple of spotted flycatchers.
Saw a juv. water rail. This was a very young bird, it must have been fledged on site. Also an adult.
10 snipe, common sand, 3 green sands, 3 little egret.
Holly blue butterfly.
Peregrine on St.Wulframs, Grantham.
Sketch of the day
Now that should be a pub name!
Today a Langford was poor in the rain but this juvenile sparrowhawk came and posed for the camera. On Sunday evening at Marston a few bats were flying around. The big ones looked huge compared to the pipistrelles. Rounded, stubby ears, I’m thinking noctule bats but really only guessing.
How’s this for pushing the limits of my point and shoot, is it a bird is it a plane. No it’s a bat.
Another first for me at Marston was this smooth newt.
Sketch of the day.
Long-tailed tits. Water colours.