I had a look along the racecourse, hoping for a Hoopoe to pop its head up (seem like good habitat for them) but saw lots of Wheatear instead - a good count of 17. One of the males had a very strong orangey pink chest, so possibly a Greenland, but who knows! (Edit: Looking at pictures of them on the internet, it seems like they have bolder superciliums then Northern Wheatears - and the one I saw really did have a very striking supercilium.)
When I got to Passage House, a man sitting in his car called me over and told me he had seen a Black Kite earlier while driving over the motorway bridge! He said that it flew low down, over the bridge and towards Newton Abbot/Kingsteignton. I'm not sure whether he did actually see one or whether he was having me on! I asked him if it was "definitely a Black Kite and not a Red Kite or a Marsh Harrier," and the answer was, "no, I'm sure it was a Black Kite." "And not a Buzzard?" "No!" He then went on to tell me that he sees Black Kites most years in England and that they're relatively common. He even said that he thought they were breeding. Now I'm pretty sure they do not breed in England, unless everyone keeps it a massive secret! Anyway, make of it what you will.
On my way back I thought I heard a Sedge Warbler, but it only sang for a short while and it was very distant, so I'm not sure whether it was one. There was also a Water Rail at Hackney Marshes.
NEWS JUST IN: Robin Shute counted 60 Wheatear on the racecourse late this afternoon. I expect there must be at least one Greenland in there. I only had bins on me so must have missed a lot. That or they all decided to arrive after I left!
This comment to me "He then went on to tell me that he sees Black Kites most years in England and that they were relatively common. He even said that he thought they were breeding." implies that you probably didn't miss a Black Kite!ReplyDelete
They are a genuinely rare bird - so to see some in 'most years' without even trying means they are Buzzards ;-)
Yes, quite! And to manage to identify it while driving at 70mph! I think if that happened to me (when I've learnt to drive!), I think I'd probably end up crashing the car in disbelief!ReplyDelete