June 2017 Tour reports
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June 2nd - 10th Outer Hebrides Tour - A fantastic 8 day tour visiting The Uists, Mull and the Ardnamurchan peninsula highlights were Eagles, breeding plumage Divers, Corncrake, Red-necked Phalaropes, skuas, breeding waders, harriers and Short-eared Owls and lots more.... read the full trip report here
Saturday 17th June - Nightjar & Owls evening
I picked up the group around 7am and we headed to our first location. There was 2 Little Owls, one was sat in the sun, snoozing whilst the other bird hunted from the posts. We had Grey Partridge, several Stock Dove, plus a purring Turtle Dove that showed briefly. A Barn owl was also seen hunting nearby. We visited another area before heading to the heathland, another Barn Owl was seen and lots of Brown Hare, plus several Roe Deer looked very attractive in the evening glow!
We then headed over to the heathland, a Tree Pipit was still singing and displaying. A reeling Grasshopper Warbler ventually provided us with good scope views. As the light faded we were soon listening to several Nightjar churring. We had some nice flight views and eventually we had good scope views of a Nightjar perched. We were constantly treated to overhead views of at least 4+ Woodcock!
Sunday 18th June - North Norfolk exclusive group tour
We left early for a couple of hours pre-breakfast birding at 6.15am. As we arrived a Barn Owl was hunting. We almost immediately saw the male Montagu's Harrier, we were fortunate to catch him as he had just food passed and was heading away. We also saw a Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel plus 2 Mediterranean Gulls flew over.
We then headed over to Potter Heigham, it was now very, very hot! But the pools and birds here were relatively unaffected, The now expected plethora of waders were present Lapwing, Redshank, Avocet plus many young. Amongst these scanning were also c40 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Mediterranean Gulls, Common Tern and a group of 11 Spoonbill, finally we located the breeding Black-winged Stilts, plus 2 Garganey. As we walked back we had 2 Bearded Tit, Marsh Harrier and Kestrel. Another highlight was a minimum of 12 Swallowtail butterflies and 6+ Norfolk Hawker.
Monday 21st June - North Norfolk exclusive morning tour
With the weather set to be very hot and sunny, I collected today's client at 6.30am. We had a very successful start, with great views of both male and female Montagu's Harrier, a food pass was witnessed. Nearby 2 Barn Owls were hunting and we had lovely views of these as well. Again here, 2 Mediterranean Gulls flew over! There was several Yellowhammer, plus Linnet and Whitethroat.
We stopped off en-route and had at least 3 Corn Bunting singing. Next we headed to Holme, there was good numbers of Sandwich Tern offshore, over hundred fishing, also several Little Tern. We then tracked down a Lesser Whitethroat it was very vocal but refused to give great views! A group of 4 Siskin were unseasonal flyovers. We took a walk out on some saltmarsh, we had views of several Bearded Tit, plus Sedge and Reed Warbler, Reed Bunting, Bullfinch and another noisy Lesser Whitethroat proved very difficult again to get good views, also 3+ Marsh Harriers were overhead.
Tuesday 21st June - North Norfolk exclusive evening tour
I picked up the couple around 7am and we headed to my usual first location. A Red Kite was hunting just over the nearby fields, plus a Marsh Harrier appeared and a Buzzard was sat on the hedgerow. The 2 Little Owls, were as usual showing very well! One was sat snoozing and was soon joined by the other bird, flying in from a hunting foray. A short drive also produced a Barn Owl. We had Grey Partridge, plus several Stock Dove. A Barn owl was also seen hunting nearby and we were soon watching another Barn Owl, this one was perched in the roof of a dutch barn and provided wonderful perched views. We visited another area and amazingly saw two more Barn Owls!
We then headed over to the heathland, it was much cooler tonight, the Nightjars were later becoming vocal. The Grasshopper warbler was reeling and a second reeled as well, though both remained concealed! The Nightjars in contrast to a previous visit just a few days ago were largely sat up in the trees. Clearly the cooler conditions after a long hot spell were working against us, eventually we had a couple of Nightjar quick flybys, though there was plenty of churring.