Mega Sightings

Saturday 21st April 2007

The day started off with an early call with Andy to Frampton to see the Glossy Ibises on the WWT 100-acre which turned up yesterday evening. Good work John Overfield in finding them . After being told on the way they had flown north 10 minuted before I thought bugger! A Cuckoo near the canal and a Kingfisher flying toward the canal from the direction of Green Lane helped ease the panic. At Green Lane we had news that they had in fact landed not far away, but out of sight. Andy made out he wasn't bothered having seen a Glossy Ibis up north recently. We were eventually allowed on to the 100-acre and watched them for some time, mainly just heads bobbing up, but occasionally they would take to the air briefly before settling back down. A Cetti's Warbler in song nearby seemed to add to the celebration! Thanks to Martin, James, Dave and other WWT staff for allowing us to get views of these wonderful birds. I'd only seen one before, and that was in Florida. We then made for the forest where we got two Tree Pipits displaying at Woorgreens, and two Lesser Redpoll, but it wasn't long before Mike relayed news of another mega, this time at at Cleeve Hill. We dashed off there to see a Stone Curlew, a lifer for me, sat at the head of the Wash Pool valley on the opposite slope. We watched it for at least an hour and it hardly moved. I still can't digiscope properly (come on Mr Opticron, hurry up and fix my eyepiece!) but luckily Mark got there later and sent me some superb photos (below). We rounded off the day's birding with a visit to nearby West Down. Here, at warden's Wood, three Grasshopper Warblers were reeling mid-afternoon, and we got brief views of two of them. Also there, three Common Whitethroats, a Cuckoo (calling), a Swallow collecting mud from the car park for nest-building, and an Adder (photos of Glossy ibises, Tree Pipit and Adder: Paul Masters, Stone Curlew photos: Mark Hobson).


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