An Evening of Reeling

With it being a warm still evening I decided to pay another visit to Knighton on the Grasshopper Warbler trail. . I arrived at a quarter past seven and on leaving the car could hear what I think is the slightly mournful song of a Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff was also heard along with the distant drumming of a Great Spotted Woodpecker. As I walked over the second bridge the explosive call of a Cetti’s came from deep in the scrub. A little further on and I caught the sound of a Grasshopper Warbler Reeling. Cupping my hands behind my ears I tried to locate where the bird was. It appeared to be some distance away so I moved on. Then a Cuckoo was heard, again some way away. Knowing where the Cuckoo normally is I decided to leave trying to see the Gropper for a while and headed on over the river to try and locate it. From the sound it was obviously moving about and typically it went over the river, back to where I had come from. I turned back and managed to get a good flight view as it disappeared over the trees. Thing just kept getting better as a Sedge Warbler was heard and then seen, another year tick. Grey Wagtail and another Cetti’s were heard by the river. A Barn Owl then appeared, the first I have seen here. As it quartered the field it put up two Snipe, another site first. More Groppers were heard as I moved along making three in all. Eventually, after almost half-an hour and as the light was fading fast I caught sight of one of them as it moved through the undergrowth. Fortunately for me it came quite close and started to reel in full view. I even managed to get some pictures. A good result as in previous years it has need several visits before seeing the bird. It was also bird number one hundred for Wiltshire in 2015.

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4 responses to “An Evening of Reeling

  1. What a great evening! And the shots of the Gropper would have been the cherry on the cake! Quite a bit of activity around my moth trap at the moment with a Waved Umber being the best so far!

    • It certainly was good. One of the early season visits I always look forward to and the area usually turns up some good stuff.
      I noticed the first moth in the house last night but must admit I didn’t look closely to see what it was.

  2. Richard Williams

    Well done Malcolm for getting the gropper shots – your patience was rewarded. I might visit there next Friday on the way home. Did you see the Cuckoo?

    • A bit of patience and a lot of luck. Had a short flight view of the Cuckoo and thnn briefly perched at the top of a tree before it dropped out of sight.

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