Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Hilfield Reservoir - 30.8.11

36 today and I wake up feeling like i've been run over (and not due to booze!). To escape the whinging baby I went to Hilfield Res for a wander round. On arrival at the car park a Chiffchaff called (1 of at least a dozen), a Jay flew over and a Buzzard was harrassed by either a Kestrel or Hobby but my bins were still in the boot so i'll never know! From the base of the steps I noticed a small bird perched on top of one of the life rings so through my scope I saw it was a female Wheatear. Just as I was about to endure the steps Steve Murray arrived and so we both went up and scanned the res together. After nothing much of note on the water I said my farewells only to be stopped in my tracks by a stunning Fox in the corner of the car park. I got Steve onto it and whilst watching it I suddenly heard the call of a Ringed Plover! Sure enough I turned round to see it fly in from the North and nearly crash into Steve's head! It eventually landed on the dam and was ID'd as a juv and was apparently the first record for the year. The walk round saw a Sparrowhawk fly by, still 7 Swifts, 35 House Martins and 18 Swallows. 3 Yellow Wags flew NE over the dam and a Little Owl was sat on a post in the paddocks behind the viewpoint. Just as I was walking past the North pines a huge flock of gulls arrived from the NW and landed on the water. I scanned through them and rough counts were 600 Black-Headed Gulls, 150 Lesser Black-Backed Gulls and 50 Herring Gulls. Back in the car park and 3 Greenfinches were atop of one of the trees.

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