Moderator: Neil Southworth
House Sparrows are doing well around the garden, +10 inc juvs. Pair of Bullfinch too. Walking up through the woods: Chaffinch, Wren, lots of Jackdaws, Song Thrush singing, Woodpigeons, Blackbird, Several Willow Warblers, Great Spotted Woodpecker heard, Oystercatchers over, Blue Tit, Robins and Nuthatch + juvs becoming noisier again after a few weeks of relative quiet. Goldfinch near the top of Well lane, and a male Stonechat too. A plethora of Pipits Meadow on the moors, plus many Skylark too. 2 Kestrel hunting. Pheasant and Carrion Crow.
250 m from top of Well lane heard the first Gowk "cuckooing" away from Heatherlea woods at 2015hrs. 20 mins later heard a 2nd Gowk in the trees near top of Dean Black Brook opposite Drinkwaters. He cuckooed on for over half an hour then as I descended Great Hill saw him being chased by a Meadow Pipit across to Drinkwaters. An agitated Curlew at Great Hill Farm too, and another about 500m N of the White Coppice path junction.
2150hrs near top of Well Lane heard a male Gowk again 100m right, in trees by Ratten Clough. Immediately a female responded with a burble from trees to the W of Well Lane 150m to the left. The male shot out of the trees flying low and directly towards me, made some hissing click noises as it sped by about 3 to 5m away, meeting up with the female, both of them briefly rising from the trees then descending - and likely breeding. 5 mins later heard cuckooing from behind in the tree by Whittles Farm at top of Well lane, and a minute later back in the trees at Ratten Clough, including some cackling - no doubt a satisfied male. The female looking for Meadow Pipits and/or Willow Warbler nests today?
At least 3 Gowks (2 m 1 f), possibly 4? Plus almost certain breeding...
Couldn't top that show - despite trying for a Woodcock roding show in the woods, none appeared.
Thanks Neville for your recommendation. I also admit to reading "Mrs Moreau's Warbler" by Stephen Moss, fascinating.
And I much prefer Whitars for Wheatear.