Saturday, May 29, 2004

Bogbumper And The Curse Of The Black Tern

This morning I was woken at 05:45 by a text from Mike 'Early Birder' Weedon which said:

"Blak [sic] tern @ maxey now 5.45am. M"

I neeeeeeeeeed Black Tern for my PBC area list. That was enough of a stimulus to get even me out of bed. I grabbed my scope, bins, camera etc. and set off.

I arrived at Maxey at 06:15 (it would have been sooner if I hadn't gone the wrong way - twice). There was no sign of Weed, and worse still, no bloody terns! I waited around for more than a hour, in the vain hope that they might come back, but there was no sign.

After that bitter disappointment, I went to Castor Hanglands (I'm a sucker for punishment), and had my best-ever views of Grasshopper Warbler. I heard one reeling as I got out of the car, and decided to have a wander up the track to look for it (it sounded close, but they can be quite misleading). Scanning around, I soon saw it sitting low in a tree. After watching for a while, I decided it was worth a digiscoping attempt.

Hardly worth it, but it's fun trying. It's not easy to understand how Groppers sing. They just seem to sit there, open their bills and somehow the mechanical sound spills out. The only sign of any effort is the vibrating tail.

Also at CH were a few Turtle Doves, a couple of Cuckoos, and a lot of young birds.

These Common Spotted Orchids (Dactylorhiza fuchsii) made a nice display.

This flower is pretty, but I don't know what it is...

Update: Mum says it's Goatsbeard, Tragopogon orientalis, otherwise known as Jack-Go-To-Bed-At-Noon.

What's in my CD player: Thriller - Lambchop

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