16 May 2010

A day 'off patch'

I joined up with a friend today for a morning's birding away from my usual haunts.

The early rain as I drove to our meeting point turned out to be a false alarm - the shower passed over, the chill north wind quickly died down and we were left with a superb morning.

It turned out to be even more superb as the birds turned up: as many as 10 ringed plover, three pairs of little ringed plover, skies full of swifts and sand martins, a pair of summer plumaged dunlin, a redshank, plenty of warblers in full song (including several lesser whitethroat and a particularly showy sedge warbler), linnets and meadow pipits aplenty, and lot more besides.

Alongside these were butterflies and dragonflies enjoying the steadily rising temperatures: orange-tip, speckled wood, small copper and brimstone, plus several superb broad-bodied chasers (pictured).

Bird of the day: Swift (Apus apus); despite all the waders and warblers, it was the low flying and ever-wonderful swifts that did most to captivate me this morning.

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