Sunday, 21 July 2013

June 2013

Wow, June was a bit of a blur. At the turn of the month I started my new job as a Sales Executive for Nicholls and Clarke Glass and instantly began my training program within the department; so far everything has been really good and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. It has certainly been keeping me busy and it appears I am once again restricted to birding in the evenings and weekends, and with June being such a mega month I wasn't sure how I'd manage to connect with anything important.

I spent the majority of my spare time in the New Forest enjoying the long evenings watching displaying Nightjars and roding Woodcocks, with breeding Goshawk, Cuckoo, Tree Pipit, Woodlark, Redstart and Crossbill all easy available within the same small felled area. Honey Buzzards were also displaying just a stones throw away, while Needs Ore was relatively quiet with a slow trickle of migrants still coming through but nothing worth shouting about.
On the 15th I visited Cuckmere Haven (East Sussex) with the Fullers to try and photograph the particularly showy American Golden Plover that had been there all week. Today, however, it had clearly gone. Whilst walking to and from the car park to the shore we were bombarded by screaming Swifts low over our heads and we joked about imagining a Pacific Swift just appearing in front of us, flashing its white-rump, before continuing down the river. Needless to say it didn't happen, but the same topic had cropped up quite alot recently, no doubt fueled by the now annual, recent sighting of a Pacific Swift south over Spurn. Josh and I were discussing just two days prior how surely it was just a matter of time before somebody tracked it down inland over a body of water, whether it be Rutland or some other reservoir. In reality this was just a dream scenario that would probably never happen.
Just as I neared the A23 near Brighton those magic words struck the pager, presumably the same Pacific Swift that was seen migrating south over Spurn a week earlier had finally been pinned down at Trimley Marshes (Suffolk). After a frantic drive and a very exhaustive 3 mile run we were there watching the Pacific Swift hawk in a 'figure of 8' fashion over its favored pool nearest to the seawall almost continuously for over 2 hours before the heavens opened!! During my teenage years I remember others say that there would never be a repeat of the 1993 Cley bird and this was one that would never be twitchable again. Oh how they were (gratefully) wrong. Views from the seawall were good, but not as good as those from the hide where it performed well at closer range as it looped round in front of us; once again my photos fail to do it justice. It really is time for me to upgrade my kit!
June proved to be a great month as it didn't stop there. A jaunt over to the Isle of Wight in the evening of the 19th, resulted with perhaps the most fine-looking wader I have ever seen; a female Wilson's Phalorope. With hardly anybody there it was great to just sit and watch as the sun set behind us. It certainly beats the one previous encounter I've had of the species, a grey 1st winter at Stithian's Reservoir, probably some 5 years ago now.

A 1st summer Montagu's Harrier at an undisclosed site in the north of Hampshire was the last of highlights before Emma and I flew out to Mexico on the 22nd (seperate blog post). Things were still heating up nicely on the rarity front and it seemed inevitable that I'd miss something!

No comments:

Post a Comment