Monday, May 03, 2004

Why does it never rain when you want it to?

Since it was a showery day, I decided to go to Orton Brick Pit to try for Arctic/Black Terns. Of course, there were none (not even any Common Terns). The best and most fascinating bird there by far was a Nightingale.

The strange thing about it was the noise it was making. At first, there seemed to be a Chaffinch calling (the Greenfinchy, wheezy kind of call) and something that sounded like a frog going 'frrrrrrrrrrp!', coming from the same area of vegetation. Then, the Nightingale revealed itself for a few seconds, and it was clearly producing both the sounds, almost simultaneously! Very odd indeed.

We waited in vain for a rain shower to bring down some migrants, but, of course, this failed to materialise. So the next stop was Ferry Meadows, where Mike Weedon had reported a first-summer Little Gull. That was still there, and there were plenty of Common Terns around, a passage of House Martins, Swallows and Swifts, and the usual evening Starling flights from north to south (birds which had been feeding on the Milton estate returning to their nest sites in Orton, or vice-versa?). But no Arctic or marsh terns. And no rain.

Ended up at Eldernell, where it also did not rain. Nice evening for it, though.