Graham had arranged the annual Bird Race Day at Holmethorpe and Steve had posted about the event on 24 April.
The day had threatened to be wet in the morning - luckily this wasn't turned into reality. I arrived about just after 8.00 a.m. having followed Graham's excellent directions. It was sunny, but with a chill in the air. I turned off the road into the car park - lucky I noted the closed and padlocked five-bar gate to the entrance and stopped in time.
I wandered up the road a little - drove down a lane and managed to locate Steve and Gordon. Having kitted up I joined them as they were watching a Little Owl - and my thanks to Steve for a view of it through his scope - what a way to start the day. Onward then to join Graham and Richard who were with Frank and Ian.
Whilst others may have felt the day was a little light on birds, I was pleased to see all that was there. My list is not for the race, but a record of what I saw. In some ways, it was more of a wildlife day given the variety of things we saw; and my thanks to Richard for sharing his huge fund of knowledge about all matters flora and fauna..
So what did I see or hear?
Great Crested Grebe
Reed Warbler (H)
Little Grebe (and two on nests)
Long Tailed Tit
Little Egret (x 2)
(Hobby - others saw but I couldn't find it!)
Green Woodpecker (H)
Mute Swan and
finally - just as I'd put the camera in the boot of the car, a
Wren - posed nicely on a nearby branch singing away :D
Whitethroats seemed to be the order of the day and accompanied us nearly everywhere we went. However, they weren't staying still long enough for a portrait much just managed to catch this one...
before he high-tailed it for another perch!
A little more obliging.
The sun shone over the lake
and highlighted the fluffy seed heads of the rushes
The water glistened
and a Drinker Moth caterpillar slowly climbed a fence post
A Green-veined butterfly landed on a dandelion and rested
Further on, this young rabbit enjoyed a meal
By now we had been joined by Sue and we watched Cormorants sunbathing
and drying their wings after a dip!
On the far side of the pond, a couple of interesting species came into view. They'd obviously spotted something - we can only guess the species and what it was viewing :D
Cowslips tucked away by the fence
and a Male Kestrel hovered high overhead
And of course, the obligatory Grey Heron rose up and flew off
and finally, just before parting company, we can across some Sussex cattle!
Graham, Sue and Richard decided to head off up the hill for some raptors, but Frank and I decided we should be on our way.
So home I came without incident.
So a day spent in warm sunshine, with many types of wildlife to enjoy, and excellent company all round.
Thanks Graham, for hosting such a great day! :)
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