With the weekend finally here, I was keen to get out early to see what I could find so at 4.50am, I was in the car and on my way over to Nethergong Campsite where I spent 5 hours waking the circuit 3 times. On arrival just before 5am, a Barn Owl flew over the road and I saw it later a few times over the fields. I sat in the car near the entrance at first and it wasn't long until I heard a Lesser Whitethroat (86) singing, the first of 9 year ticks today. As the light picked up, I drove into the entrance and sitting on the sign post to the amp site was a Little Owl (87). I had thought that they had gone but it was a nice site to greet me. It soon flew off but I saw it a little later flying across the field opposite the site. After getting ready, I started the circuit and although a little windy and chilly, it was one of the best sessions I have had this year. I managed to note 59 species today which included a few bits of quality. Birds seen included 3 Pheasant, 1 Cuckoo (88) which spent most of the session moving around the area calling and I even attempted a few distant shots of it perched. Its not the easiest of sites to get near to the birds but I was quite pleased with the efforts despite looking into the sun.
A little later it flew by quite close and caught me unaware, my effort not quite coming out how I would like but plenty of room to improve i'm sure.
Moving on I saw 1 Mistle Thrush, 5 Blackcap, c30 Cormorant, 2 Green Woodpecker, 4 Common Whitethroat, 2 Kestrel, 4 Cetti's Warbler, 5 Mallard, 1 Grey Heron, c22 Mute Swan, 3 Sedge Warbler singing and also in the scrub at the northern reedbed was a singing Nightingale (89) which I stood listening too for a while, magic. There were 2 Long tailed Tit, 1 Little Egret, 2 Marsh Harrier, 2 Grasshopper Warbler 'reeling' on the eastern end of the patch with one showing briefly for a few photos, 1 Common Buzzard, 2 Linnet, 4 Goldfinch, 1 Reed Warbler (90) singing from the small island on the lake, 4 Yellowhammer, 2 Tufted Duck and as I walked back along the southern edge, 1 Turtle Dove (91) flew by giving a brief view.
Moving on throughout the morning, I noted 4 Swallow, 2 Greylag Geese (92) flew into the fields on the eastern side of the area, 1 Skylark, 1 Willow Warbler (93) was heard singing briefly and 2 Yellow Wagtail (94) flew over calling which concluded the session. A brilliant 5 hours spent looking at lots of birds and considering this site is only c700m in length and c170 metres wide, its sure has a lot to offer the birder. The target of 100 species is looking pretty good now but it will definitely get much harder from her on in now I have picked up most of the commoner birds in the area. Hopefully I can pick up Common Tern which i'm pretty sure I heard today along with maybe Garden Warbler, Swift, Hobby and hopefully a few flyover raptors and waders. Providing I wake up in time, I will hopefully be back out in the morning to see if the predicted overnight rain has dropped anything in.