A Bits & Pieces Day

With a few things to be done at home and a visit to the dentist it was a fit the birds in whenever day. After dropping my wife at work I had a quick look in at Coate Water. Five Snipe, a Lapwing two Shelduck, plenty of Warblers  and a few Swallows were seen here. On my way home from the dentist I stopped in at Southleaze. The lake was full with no exposed mud so there were no waders around. Little Grebe, Coot, Moorhen, Heron and more Warblers was the tally here. A quick stop at the new canal in Witchelstowe got me anothe Little Grebe as did Wroughton Reservoir. Also here were a few Tufties and Gadwall. After my evening meal it was off to London for a couple of days staying with my Mum. I needed to drop something off in Marlborough on the way which gave me the chance to stop in at Knighton in the Kennet Valley on the way to the M4. This is my regular site for Grasshopper Warbler. I usually go early morning so t made a change to be there at the other end of the day. First bird seen was a Great Spotted Woodpecker, then Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff along with a heard only Cetti’s. On reaching the river there were just a couple of Mallard to be seen. I then caught a  brief  snatch of reeling. It took a couple of minutes to get an idea of where to head for and gradually I managed to get closer. As is often the way it was quite hard to pinpoint exactly where the bird was from the brief snatches of song. A quick flicker of movement in a nearby bush caught my eye and there it was, in full view no more than a dozen feet away. I thought it would disappear into the scrub but instead it started to sing. Incredible to watch with its beak open and the whole body vibrating. I watched for the best part of a minute before the bird decided to drop down into the grass. It was back to the car and off to London for me, elated by my best ever Gropper sighting.

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