Last Saturday, I was allowed out, after cracking on with decorating during the week, and with more to be done on Sunday and Monday, when the weather forecast was poor.
The lure of a pair of Garganey, saw me arrive at Frampton by 8am. On the short walk to the flashes, a Whitethroat and a Sedge Warbler showed and sang from the far canal bank. A Yellow Wagtail flew over, calling.
On the flashes, the 2 Garganey were soon found, in the distance. The female was shy, and refused to pose.
Closer was the Marbled Duck, which according to a local birder, has a good chance of being declared undodgy by the Rarities Commitee...we shall see...
A Hobby flew through, and on the right hand flash, 2 Greenshank, 2 Little Stints, and a few Bar Tailed Godwits were present, along with a almost pure white Black Headed Gull.
One of the more common species present were these funny chaps, but most people seemed bored with them....
There seemed to be about 17 of them. Hundreds of Hirundines and Swifts were also present.
I now headed to Prestbury Hill, east of Cheltenham, to look for butterflies. The cool, cloudy morning gradually gave way to warm sunshine, and soon I started finding my targets, Dingy Skipper, Small Heath (very early), Small Blue, and Green Hairstreak.
I heard Redstart, Lesser Whitethroat and Cuckoo, but didn't see them. A Tree Pipit showed and sang down to about 20 feet.
The rarest beast still eluded me, and a couple of other searchers, but eventually we found 1 Duke of Burgundy,
on the same bush that I saw them last year! This was very early also, and possibly had only just emerged.
On the way home, a quick visit to Nagshead produced excellent views of a male Pied Flycatcher, and glimpses in the treetops of a vocal Wood Warbler.
Another good day out, but time is getting short now!