Tuesday, 12 July 2011

June Highlights

The month kicked off with a Reed Warbler singing from our urban garden back home in Bedford, our 5th garden record, but the first to be heard singing. As it turned out, I should have spent the day traveling up north to Hartlepool for the White-throated Robin, but in the end decided to leave it till the next day (Thursday 9th) when, in theory, the doctors garden should have been open. Not leaving Bedford till 09:50 I had plenty of time to find out if the bird was still present, with the first report coming out just after 07:30. A straightforward journey through London, saw me arriving into Hartlepool at 14:20, with roughly 3 hours on site, before I had to leave for the train back at 17:50. Unfortunately, despite reports from the previous days appearing on Birdguides almost every hour, the bird was looking to have others ideas, with no further sightings since 11:30, when it had flown from the bowling green, back towards the doctors garden. As the hours slowly passed, things were starting to look ever more doubtful, with 17:00 approaching and the bowling green distinctly Robin free. Despite securing a lift back to Bedford, and gaining an extra couple of hours on site, the bird never showed again that day, but was back on the green again the following morning, departed just before the weekend on the Friday night.

After roosting at Thornham the previous night, where it was seen briefly the following morning, before moving west along the coast to Holme, the Caspian Tern finally gave itself up at Titchwell, where it gave excellent views, feeding over the open water on the west side of the path. My 2nd in the UK, it made a welcome change to see this bird fishing, albeit unsuccessfully, creating quite a splash in the process and completely submerging itself underwater! A Temminck's Stint, seen displaying to a nearby Dunlin, was an unexpected, and out of season, find at Titchwell on the 29th, whilst two groups of Crossbill at Snettisham (12 through the Coastal Park and 28 over the garden) and the first flocks of returning Sand Martin (37 birds on 25th) were clear signs that Autumn was on its way...

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