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Friday, 15 April 2011

BEE-EATER is always followed by a HOOPOE!....

BEE-EATER at Mcfarlands Down Robin Mower 

  .....And that's what happened. It was a repeat performance of four days ago when I saw the BEE-EATER followed shortly afterwards by a HOOPOE! Paul Semmens, who visits St Mary's once a week, called me to say that he had found a BEE-EATER at Mcfarlands Down! Ten minutes later I could see the bird flying around a large pine to my right as I drove down Mcfarlands Lane. When I joined both Paul and Robin, the BEE-EATER was in a dead pine, distantly. However, it flew closer and closer, until it was overhead. Here it performed well, over the pines, houses and fields where I saw an amazing flock of 11 BEE-EATER last year. It started to hawk further and further away, including over my bloody house! Then it went behind some distant bushes and we lost it.

Top two shots Paul Semmens

BEE-EATER hawking over our heads 

There also 2 Wheatear in the area 

  As for the HOOPOE! I went looking for a male WOODCHAT SHRIKE at Deep Point. I had just come out of the pine belt and started scanning the Gorse below me. Putting my bins down, this HOOPOE came over the pines, above me, and flew low towards Griff's Zoo! It briefly came down behind some Gorse and then got up again and flew towards Mount Todden Farm. I quickly put the news out and then called Robin, who was nearby. His reply was that he already knew about it and thought that I had found it! Oh well, at least I got a good flight view. I left the shrike and went looking for the HOOPOE. Half an hour later, I saw it flying head on towards me, just above and following the pine belt! As it flew overhead, I swapped my bins for the camcorder and fired off some shots. They all came out crap! Never mind. Although it was getting late, I returned to look for the shrike, but all I got was a fly over Whimbrel and immature male Sparrowhawk.

Honest, that's a HOOPOE, not a speck of dust, over the pine belt at Mount Todden and don't bother enlarging it. 
  Before all this happened, I made a short visit, as I had to go to work early, to the Porth Hellick area this morning. There was no sign of the drake Tufted Duck or Sedge Warbler. They were replaced by up to 3 Grasshopper Warbler instead. The first was heard at Giants Castle, followed by the others at Salakee and Porth Hellick loop trail. There were also 9 male Blackcap, 5 Chiffchaff, 4 Willow Warbler and only a few hirundines.  A quick look at Shooters Pool found another Gropper reeling at the back.

  Mid-afternoon and I was in the fields at Maypole watching a male Wood Warbler in sub-song showing very well. There were also 15+Willow warbler and a single Chiffchaff in the area and the firth Grasshopper Warbler of the day, was reeling in the field next to the Wood Warbler.

I spent half an hour watching this Wood Warbler at Maypole 

A stunning sunset this evening  

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