Sleeping in a hide is the most uncomfortable thing ever!
Not to mention those bloody Oystercatcher 'piping' all night right outside the hide. The BHG were loud, but it was the OYC's that were stupidly loud. Needless to say, little sleep was had.
Me and my hide sleeping companion, the now famous Biking Birder woke around 3 am in rather humorous fashion. And we decided to head out to see if any birds were singing. Very little was, however a calling Tawney Owl was the first highlight of the day in the morning gloom. It must however be said that at that time in the morning, it is an exceptionally beautiful time to be out, with very little background noise with nothing but Bats and the occasional snippet of birdsong for company.
Back in the hide we waited for sunrise, and to say it was slightly disappointing was an understatement. Very little bar the usual were present 2 Curlew probably being the 'pick of the lot' but those had been present all night calling, which proceeded to fly off south as the sun rose.
Moving onto the Moors proved to be the best decision of the day. Firstly, a male Cetti's Warbler was pulled out of the nets. This bird being particularly welcomed, as having become extinct at Upton for over a year, it seems like they have again reached the point of recolonization, a great story, and one showing that if the habitat is there, the birds will come, despite the very fragmented range of Cetti's Warbler in the Midlands.
2 Common Tern moved through the Moors very quickly, vis-mig in action, and a Common Sandpiper was showing. A stop in the car park for a quick natter proved to be the best 5 minutes of the day, as a 3rd Tern flew in, but immediately stuck as different. At that second news was passed via the phone that a RED KITE was flying over the Education reserve, everyone in the car park connected, but in doing so, most forgot about the Tern. Luckily, the Tern dropped down briefly, confirming my suspicions as to it being an ARCTIC TERN!
Within a few minutes the bird flew off north, directly over our heads!
From here onward the day petered out, as i slogged along to find common species such as Sparrowhawk and Jay, both of which eluded me until mid-afternoon. I managed to 'grip back' a Lesser Redpoll, which was widely 'twitched' by the day listers along the East shore of the Moors Pool.
By 5pm, to say i was completely exhausted was an understatement, so, moving away from the crowds, i moved to the north end of the North Moors to try to listen for a Grasshopper Warbler, and a Cuckoo had been heard calling here earlier in the afternoon. Lying on the floor i had a quick 30 minute relax, but needless to say, none were heard.
It was great to have summer migrants back in very good numbers, particularly warblers, Sedge Warblers really did seem to be in every suitable bit of habitat!