Monday, July 25, 2005

Bee munchers and mucky Terns- all in a weekend's work for the wandering birders

Its only been a chuffin' week since it was commented on here about our lack of long haul twitches we have been on this year, but along comes the next weekend and to prove they are like buses, two come along at once! Mungus!

The first one was the inevitable, unmissable long drag to
Anglesey which not only scored us Sooty Tern but also bagged us Storm Petrel (a tart's tick we both needed!) and a bucket load of year ticks. You can read about our wild Welsh weekend (complete with pictures!) by clicking here.
Sooty Tern, Cemlyn, Anglesey, 23.07.05 © Josh Jones
Sooty Tern, Cemlyn, Anglesey, 23.07.05 © Will Bowell

Today, on the kind offer of a lift from Chris Orders we headed to the West Country near Hereford where we had learnt over the weekend that Bee-eaters were breeding. Over 3 hours after setting off from the Deepings we were enjoying our first scope fulls of Bee-eater as it sat on a hawthorn. Top notch! A long drive but well worth it for this British tick for us all!
European Bee-eater, Hampton Bishop, Herefordshire, 25.07.05 © Josh Jones

This rainbow coloured pair apparently have two chicks inside their burrow on the banks of the River Wye and since this watch point has only just started being advertised this weekend, there wasn’t much of a mid-week crowd today, but a constant flow enjoyed this extremely rare sight in Britain.

They were very active hunting near constantly, but occasionally resting on favoured perches allow for Josh to nail it even though the light was absolutely shocking. Sometimes its easy to forget how much magnification digiscoping gives you compared to DSLR but today was a classic example of when digiscoping is best and even Will resulted to it- but didn’t do nearly as half as well as Josh.

European Bee-eater, Hampton Bishop, Herefordshire, 25.07.05 © Will Bowell

Click here for our Bee-eater Gallery.

The drive home took a painful four hours but well worth it and thanks to Josh’s navigation it didn’t take any longer.

Our thanks goes to Chris Orders for the taking us- ta mate (as ever!)


At 5:36 AM, Blogger Gwyn said...

Lovely photos of a lovely bird. Guess I just need to get a field guide for the UK. I had no idea there was anything this flashy on the island!


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