Seeing August out

August turned out to be a fairly uninspiring month for me in some ways, hence the lack of posts. A few notes from recent days though…

On the 21st I saw what were probably now going to be my last swifts over Ponderosa, with four getting spooked by a passing sparrowhawk. Just as suddenly as they appeared they’re now gone, and the skies appear emptier without them.

On Saturday a trip to IKEA was improved no end by a view of a hobby over Junction 36 of the M1, not far from Tankersley, which was being mobbed by a couple of crows. It’s been a good year for me spotting this cracking species.

Finally I went for a walk on my much-neglected patch on Sunday. Things are starting to get interesting again – there were large flocks of house martins and swallows around, the largest being 150 martins over Stacey Bank. Two dippers were between the Fisheries and Stacey Bank, and a grey wagtail was bobbing around and a chiffchaff having a quick sing.

A large flock of around 150 rooks flew over Old Wheel Farm – although they’re common in the fields on the northern side of Loxley Road, I rarely see them on my regular walk in the valley. A cormorant overhead was an even less expected sight, and there were also six linnets near the farm, and five tufted duck on Old Wheel Dam.

My quest to get a yearlist of 200 this year hit the rails a bit in August, with not a single “tick”, but now we’re into September – probably my favourite birding month – this will hopefully change. I’ve birding trips planned this week to Potteric (I’m crossing my fingers the little stint and Med gull hang on until tomorrow morning!) and Rutland Water (yes, a cheaty way to get ospreys). I’ve also got jaunts to Brid and Spurn booked later in the month which should mop up a few species. Yes I know, dirty tick hunter…


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My name is Pete

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