Bob and I were all set for Saturday in Norfolk watching raptors - in particular Honey's and Monty's!
But Honey's appear few and gfar between and there is some doubt over a couple of sightings...
and then tere was the rare,,,,a bird neither Bob nor I had seen in this country, well I hadn't seen it anywhere!
Friday evening Bob rang...."about this Warbler"..."where in Wales is it?""I'll look it up and get back to you".
Meanwhile I am enjoying an Indian takeaway from one of our favourite resturants and a fine wine - al fresco and chatting about my friends latest trip- this time to Sorrento...loooking at her photo's of birds taken to id them or check the id....
there was a scurry....eek...what is it? Well superb a Hummingbird Hawk Moth - I say dont run away get your camera ready!
it was not a Hornet (nope we saw one on Saturday and it was a reall big b*****!)
Not one HHM but two!
Bob rings - near Gwent - oh easy say I ...shall I drive?
That was the beginning,,,,yes and we got to see the Marmora's Warbler singing his little heart out - poor chap even building a nest....if a lady Dartford should happen across his path she will be captured forthwith!
Lots of Tree Pipits , several Whinchats, a Cuckoo who continued calling every now and again and the mood was right! An easy twitch.
So there was a Lifer plus 3 year ticks for me and a Joe Ray birder tick!
That was an unexpected surprise and a very nice one to finally meet another young birder who is serious about our hobby.
On to Westwood Wood in Monmouthshire ....to spy another Iberian Chiffchaff....and a Wood Warbler altho the hoped for Redstart didn't materialise ....the habitat was good for one...but...
so then on to Nagshead in the Forest of Dean....as we went we of course kept bumping into the birders we either knew or who had been for the Marmora's!
Yes indeed Pied and Spotted Flycatchers later.....very nice day for me altho the close weather is not my favourite and the sun decided to hide behind cloulds so we couldn't look for a particular butterfly Bob was after...we ended at the Raptor watch point seeing little altho there was a pair of Painted Ladies to admire!
So a handful of Red Kites and lots of Buzzards - no Honey's....and a Kestrel or two - oh a Raven....most noteable of the rest.
Back home via a nice Pub for dinner - try to remember the name?
Sunday am was catch up time on the previous day's cricket a spot of Cllr duties and then a race to Richmond ark where a reported Red-backed Shrike had come up on the pager.
I walk in having parked myu car outside the park with bins...as I arrived I recognised a familar "Gibster" and Glen a a young chap with the bird in his scope...nice one!
Watched the adult male being harrassed by Blue and Great Tits and Greenfinches...catching insects and a particularly enjoyable bumble bee!
Good to catch up with Seth and his Big Butterfly year.....