Thursday, 16 April 2020

Lusting for a Redstart

Two or three times a week I am trying to get out for a decent walk. Thankfully it's dead easy to avoid numbers of people, and it keeps my sanity intact. Thus far the birdy pickings have been quite modest, and my stand-out highlight is still those adders from last Saturday. One by one though, the regular migrants are appearing. Reed Warbler fell on Tuesday, and today I finally heard Willow Warbler - two birds. However, there is one 'common' migrant which I desire above all others: male Redstart. Since living in Bridport I've seen just one. This is pathetic, and testament to my effort level in recent springs, so this year I am resolved to try harder. There is nothing quite to compare with seeing your first migrant male Redstart of the year in a sunny April hedgerow. It is a special moment, and I'll never tire of it. That last bird was such a thrill that I involuntarily spoke to it. 'Oh, you beauty!' I said. It promptly flew into cover...

No Redstarts today, but the first Willow Warbler song is always lovely of course, and seeing two Whimbrel on the deck was a treat...

Elegant Whimbrel in perfect profile

My walks are taking me to quiet corners which I've not investigated before and which, without this current lockdown, I probably never would have. Will I turn up a surprise gem? I doubt it, but it's fun to try.

My second attempt at nocmig was somewhat better than the first, and contained actual bird noises. In addition to some excellent Tawny Owl action, there was this...



And that was a Moorhen! As loud and clear as the very first one I heard several nights ago, and almost as pleasing. For some reason, the notion that Moorhens are wheeling about the night sky over our little bungalow estate here in Bridport really tickles me. Brilliant...

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