Well day 5 started at 00.00 for me, but there were not many birds to see at this point as I'm sure you can imagine. It was a very quiet night, but since it was my first time I made sure everything was checked. There were Oystercatchers calling occasionally but whenever I checked I could not see any predators. I did however send the roosting Dunlin flying, so much so that by morning there were none left. While scanning with the torch I also found the Ringed Plovers roosting on the shoreline, but they were none too pleased by this.
The sun finally appeared around 4, revealing the Little Terns and a pair of Mute Swans on the lake. At 5.00 I was relieved of my duty, a successful night with no casualties. I know I fell asleep at least once, but apparently this is allowed because the birds will wake you should there be any bother.
On the way back I found numerous Woodpigeons along Beacon Lane. Near the bottom of the lane a Cuckoo flew over me. In any other mood this would have been great but by this point all I wanted was bed. A Cuckoo is still a great record though, and an excellent find.
I awoke from my slumber at 13.00 to an absolutely glorious day. As a consequence I decided to spend my afternoon hunting for red-veined darters. On Clubleys scrape there were two darter dragonflies but they did not land and I frequently lost them and did not re-find them, so their identity will remain unknown. The Emperor Dragonflies showed well and there continued to be ample Black-Tailed Skimmers. Since I was there I also decided to finally take some photos of the Emerald Damselflies, but they were quite difficult to approach so my efforts were not overly exceptional.
I next headed along Canalside to Churchfields, along the way picking up only off bits, like Sedge Warbler. Work was being done at Churchfields so I decided not to enter. I headed back to Clubleys but the darters were still not showing so went back to the warren to chill, as I was feeling pretty knackered!
After a short while at the Warren, Paul came round telling me to come look at the Swifts going over. There were good numbers. I spent about 2 hours up there with a few birders and we counted around 1500 Swifts going over. Paul and Tim were trying to catch them for ringing but were unable to catch any. 2 did get clobbered by the net though, but did not fall into it.
It was a different experience for me, vis-migging. But a very enjoyable one. Not only were there good numbers of Swift but also Whimbrel, Sand Martin, Knot, Bar-Tailed Godwit and the highlight 3 Man Shearwaters, my 176th bird this year. Tim spotted them and I could see from watching these birds that the birds I had pondered earlier in the week were defiantly guillemots. They were not too far out so could clearly see them banking and changing as their colour moved from black to white and back again. A great addition to the day. At 7.00 I left the vis-migging to get some dinner, in prep for my shift. And that is where we will leave it for now.
Clubleys Ponds: Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Woodpigeon, Linnet, Emperor Dragonfly, Black-Tailed Skimmer, Common Blue Damselfly, Common Blue-Tailed Damselfly, Emerald Damselfly, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Small Heath,
Canalside: Sedge Warbler, Curlew, Woodpigeon, Swallow, Sand Martin, House Martin, Large White, Meadow Brown,
Vis-Migging: Starling, Oystercatcher, Great Tit, Whimbrel, Swift, Swallow, Sand Martin, Manx Shearwater, Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Woodpigeon, Black-Headed Gull, Knot, Redshank, Cormorant, Gannet, Curlew, Collard Dove, Sandwich Tern, Arctic Tern, Bar-Tailed Godwit, Dunlin,