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Saturday, 9 April 2011


Male Ring Ouzel on the main path, SW slope, Garrison 

     At Porth Hellick, first thing this morning, the first bird of note was a high flying Tree Pipit followed by my first Ring Ouzel of the year. It was male next to the seaward hide and it flew off at great speed towards Salkee. At Carn Friars, the male Blue-headed Wagtail was feeding with a single White Wagtail and 3 Tree Pipit, but there was no sign of the adult Night Heron. Otherwise it was the same numbers of Willow Warbler, Blackcap and hirundines, with not so many Chiffchaff as yesterday.

Male Blue-headed Wagtail at Carn Friars

Male Blue-headed Wagtail and Tree Pipit at Carn Friars 

  I did a few taxi's and then went for a quick look along the dead pine walk on the Garrison. I walked in and immediately heard a Nightingale singing! It seemed to be singing on the path just in front and I tried to sneak up on it. However, it saw me before I saw the bird and I got the show of the red tail diving into cover. Fortunately, it was still giving bursts of song when everyone arrived ten minutes later. Nearby, there was also a Pied Flycatcher, my first Whitethroat of the year and in a tall dead pine, a male Ring Ouzel. 

A recording of the Nightingale singing on the dead pine walk, Garrison. It's not until near the end that you can hear it better and I see it, but it's too quick . There is also footage of the male Pied Flycatcher. Turn the volume up.

All of us listening to the Nightingale singing

Male Blackcap, dead pine walk, Garrison 

  A call from Tony got me moving quick towards Porth Hellick for a very early Wood Sandpiper! I had only just been in the Sussex hide, where the sandpiper was performing well in front of, half an hour ago before. Shortly afterwards, I returned to the Garrison and this time I walked the block. The Woodchat was still in the Steval area with the male Ring Ouzel feeding with 2 continetal Song Thrush, a single continental Robin and at the campsite, a male Firecrest was singing. Another call, this time from Big Al, to say he had just stumbled across a male Woodchat Shrike at Carn Friars!

A very early Wood Sandpiper at Porth Hellick 

2 continental Song Thrush were feeding with the male Ring Ouzel, Garrison  

The female Woodchat Shrike was faithful near the Steval, Garrison 

This continental Robin was on the dead pine walk, Garrison

Smaller numbers of Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff were around the Garrison 

  Mid-afternoon  and I was watching over 70 Swallow, with House and Sand Martins and another Whitethroat at Maypole. At 17.00, Martin called, 'BEE-EATER loop trail and flew towards the hangers at the airport!!' I dashed up there and drove round towards the hangers. On one of the post was a cracking male Greenland Wheatear! Robin called to tell me that there were 7 Ring Ouzel at Porth Hellick Down! Soon as put the phone down and started to drive off, I looked to my right and there by my side at close range, was the bloody BEE-EATER flying towards Parting Carn!! It did a large circle over the road in front and then continued onwards! As soon as the bird was out of sigh,t Big Al called and I shouted down the phone 'BEE-EATER!!'

Male Whitethroat at Maypole 

Crap footage of the BEE-EATER that Martin found, circling in front of my wagon! But it's BEE-EATER!

  The last bird of the day was the first Grasshopper Warbler of the year reeling on and off in the Brambles next to the Woolpack, Garrison.

I love Pigs! 


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