Thursday, 21 May 2009

revision relapse - black winged pratincole

Having not gone to see the crested lark because of revision I felt really tested by the presence of the BW Pratincole and eventually gave in!

Leaving Southampton at 4:50am I headed over to Stodmarsh where I met Ed taylor around 7am.

We didn’t know the area but headed in the general direction towards where it had been seen and eventually at about 8am found marsh hide where it has been seen most mornings from 8:30am onwards.

Whilst trying to find the hide we saw roughly 4 turtle doves and there were plenty of blackcaps around, still no garden warb this year though :-(.

Highlight of the walk there however was the booming bittern, fantastic!! Having never heard this before Ed and I were both very excited and could even hear another one whilst watching the target bird later on, one of those unforgettable moments!

Lots of the common warbs in general and many reed bunts:

We waited until around 9:30 when the bird finally started showing. Relief!! We were beginning to think this would be our first big dip, something which is bound to happen soon but NOT today!! Only it’s head could be seen at first but eventually it came out into the open and was jumping up at passing flies!! What a sight, here is a record shot hand held digiscoped using Ed’s camera: (as you can see it was a fair way off and heat haze played havoc)

At around 10am the bird flew off hawking insects which was fantastic to watch!! Prepare yourself for the worst ever shots of a black winged prat:

Finally a shot of swan before we started our walk back to the car:

On the way back we saw loads of hobbies and they reminded me why they are my favourite bird as they caught insects on the wing right above us:

Also of note was this HUGE caterpillar. I’m not sure of its identity but it was about 4 inches long living (no sign of feeding) on reeds near the marsh, it looked like this:

Any ideas?

Great day and after a tired drive home, highlight of which was a service station perperami, I was ready to start my revision for the day at 1:30pm……..but didn’t, and still haven’t…maybe I should?

All the best, and no more birding until after exams now!!!



Matt Latham said...

Great read Dan - BW Prats are cracking birds - caterpillar is a Drinker moth by the way.


Daniel Trim said...

Cheers Matt,

Ahh thanks for the ID, I have seen then on numerous occasions so it's nice to know what they are now!

Your recent wader pics have been fantastic by the way!

all the best,


Andy Banthorpe said...

Hi Dan caterpillar is a Drinker Moth