Thursday, August 19, 2004

Dogsthorpe Star Pit

Mike and I went to Star Pit this evening to get in some last-minute birding before the Birdfair. It was surprisingly productive. On and over the lovely-looking mud, we found:

Common Sandpiper, 7
Greenshank, 2
Ruff, 1
Black-tailed Godwit, 1 adult
Snipe, 1
Swift, at least 20

Steve Dudley had visited a while before we got there and only seen four Common Sands and one Greenshank. HA!

But by far the best birds were three Hobbies which were enjoying the strong winds. Again and again, they just 'hung' there in the air, Kestrel-style, before folding their wings and stooping (Peregrine-style) after the Swifts and House Martins which were feeding lower down around the trees. After stooping, the Hobbies disappeared out of our view and then reappeared, as if by magic, in a totally different place! Truly spectacular stuff.

So I tried some 'digibinning', since the birds' movements were so predictable. My bins aren't really ideal (the rubber eyecups obstruct the camera's lens) but it was fun trying! You get the idea...