Tuesday, 10 May 2016

SP42: Long Day Count

The Long Day Count  on Sunday 9 May was blessed with wonderfully warm sunny weather and productive conditions for birding.  This year I covered SP42 with Colin Wilkinson, and we had a very enjoyable time tracking down birds in woodland, farmland, small lakes, grazing marsh, parkland and villages.  Much of the area was new to me, including hamlets such as Glympton and Kiddington, as well as some slightly more familiar places like Worton Wood and Northbrook.
Perhaps the greatest excitement came right at the end of our Count (after 11 hours!) when we arrived at Worton Wood hoping for a Jay.  We stepped out of the car door and almost immediately Colin picked up the harsh scold of the Jay.  In fact the bird was very agitated, so I tried to see what all the fuss was about.  And there, tucked deep into the hazel coppice, was a Tawny Owl.  It seemed quite unimpressed with the noisy Jay, and just sat tight.  The Jay lost interest and soon all was quiet.
Tawny Owl
time for a snooze
Other highlights included Mandarin Duck, Corn Bunting, Hobby, Spotted Flycatcher and Curlew.
In total we saw 73 species, so were pretty chuffed.

Today, in contrast, has been dull and wet but ample compensation came in the shape of a beautiful Turnstone, at Grimsbury Reservoir, a patch first for me.
Turnstone - en route to Greenland?

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