Again the rain played it's part. VERY HEAVY rain brought flooding but also forced migrating Northern Wheatears to drop in huge numbers, it was worth getting wet,cold and windswept to see the spectacle of 80+ Northern Wheatears drop in thanks to the heavy rain at Clifford Hill GP, I even managed to find 3-4 Northern Wheatears up on the nearby Brackmills Industrial Estate. I also managed to get a few new birds in May. A Cattle Egret dropped into Summer Leys, ok technically it was on the other side of the road from the reserve so it goes down in the record books as "Earls Barton Gp" but it did mean I finally got Little Egret, Cattle Egret and Great White Egret all in my home county a "proper result". On Summer Leys the usual Little Ringed Plovers, Redshanks, Oystercatchers were joined by Wood Sandpipers and Black Tail Godwits. I managed a "photography tick" up at Summer Leys in May too, the Cettis Warbler. I've seen and mostly hear these birds so many times but never managed anything better then a record shot, for what is a "plain Jane" of a bird I REALLY wanted to get one of these birds. I was stood on the old railway line with another birder who was walking his dogs, just chatting, as you do, and this bird was going back and forth, up and down the railway line singing it's heart out trying to draw the attention of any females, suddenly a female popped up on the other side of the footpath opposite the male bird, the male then performed a "mating dance routine", wings flapping, bobbing up and down calling like mad, meanwhile people just kept walking past, ignoring this amazing display, much to the amusement of me and the other birder (sorry I don't remember his name), we then watched the female fly over to the male and they both disappeared for a few seconds before the male reappeared. I had never seen this behaviour before so felt quite chuffed and honoured not only to see it but to be able to photograph it too, to see some of the dance moves from old twinkle toes just go and have a look in my Cettis Warbler folder on my website. There was an added bonus of me and the other birder getting a Nightingale, if did only part of it's call and we both said in unison "Nightingale", we followed it's call as it moved down the river but only got to hear it and never actually saw it.
|CATTLE EGRET (BUBULCUS IBIS), COMPLETED A FULL SET OF EGRETS FOR ME, EARLS BARTON GP|
|CETTI'S WARBLER (CETTIA CETTI), SUMMER LEYS NATURE RESERVE.|
Just one more post to go and I''ll post it tommorow.