Warblerfest

After a couple of days with no opportunity for birdwatching I was determined to make up for it today. my initial thought had been to head for Portland but common sense prevailed and I decide that the Water Park was the place to go. Checking on the sightings page http://cotswoldwaterpark.wordpress.com/ I noticed that Nightingales were back so CWP43 was to be my starting point. As soon as I opened the car door I could hear Chiffchaff, Sedge and Willow Warblers singing. and within a few seconds of climbing the style I heard a Nightingale. There were warblers all over with several Whitethroats also seen. Linnets and Goldfinches were around in good numbers as well. A second and then a third Nightingale was heard singing but as is often the case as I got nearer they all stopped. A Cetti’s Warbler called from close by and a brief glimpse was had. A Nightingale started to sing again, very near this time but I  couldn’t see it in the dense scrub. I did find a Garden Warbler though which was a bonus. After around twenty minutes of bush staring I did manage to find the Nightingale.P1180330 (1024x767) It is  there, honest. After another few minutes it came out into the open and started singing. It kept moving around but stayed in the open giving the the best ever views for me. P1180333 (1024x788)Not great pictures but reasonable record shots. Time to move on so I headed back into Wiltshire to Waterhay for a walk around Cleveland Lakes to the Reed Hide. As I was leaving the car park at Waterhay a Cuckoo was calling. Plenty of warblers here as well, with Willow Warbler the most numerous. On the Lake 68 a late Goldeneye was found and a Green Sandpiper flew across the water. Another Cetti’s called and then gave almost as good a view as the Nightingale. Singles of Common Sandpiper, Little Egret and Little Grebe were noted along with Cormorants and Herons carrying sticks to their nests. From the hide overlooking Lake 74, Greenshank, Redshank, Oystercatcher and Shelduck were visible on the scrape along with Canada, Greylag and Egyptian Geese.on the walk back to Waterhay along the Thames Path, Curlew and Water Rail were heard and three Sparrowhawks seen. Kent End Quarry added Little Ringed Plover and Lapwing to the list and an Arctic Tern was seen from Twitchers. Final stop of the day was Roundhouse Farm Quarry. Here there were another six Little Ringed Plover, Teal, Wigeon and more Shelduck. In total I managed sixty-eight species, somewhat surprisingly in almost six hours I didn’t see one hirundine. Very strange, where were they all? With Corn Bunting, Yellowhammer and Skylark seen on the afternoon dog walk that make seventy-one for the day. Also today I passed a hundred and fifty species for the year, a day earlier than last year. Incidentally this is my 400th post.

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