Sunday 7 April 2019


Nightingale - my crappy field notes, following a very brief view of it perched quite openly. Incredibly frustrating not to have a photograph.
I was walking slowly along a blackthorn hedge, in the Bristol Schools field this afternoon, when a bird flew up from the base of the hedge and disappeared round the corner. I caught a flash of orange and assumed I'd found a Redstart. As I edged around the corner I expected to see it again, tail-quivering further along the hedge, but there was no sign. Feeling a bit dejected I assumed it must have flipped over the hedge, but figuring it might return to the sunny corner of the field I stood and waited. A movement in some scrub ahead of me prompted me to raise the bins and I was astonished to be looking at a beautiful Nightingale. Within seconds it had dropped out of sight and that was the last I saw of it. I had it originally around 1230'ish and have been back this evening in the hope it might show again or even sing. Alas no luck, and no real surprise I suppose, given the amount of impenetrable scrub in the immediate vicinity.
Also seen on Orcombe today - male Redstart, c20+ Willow Warbler, 5 Blackcap, 2 Wheatear, 5+ Chiffchaff, c20+ Linnet, 3+ Meadow Pipit and 1+ Swallow.
Nearby, at Maer Farm, my first 3 House Martin of the year flew north and both Wheatear and Willow Warbler were seen.
Mudbank produced 9 Red-breasted Merganser in display mode, and 14 Sandwich Tern.
Good to see Dave Stone and Hoppers this afternoon - thank you both for helping search for the Nightingale.
This gorgeous male Redstart was initially frequenting the hedge-line along the cut-through from Gore Lane to the coast path this afternoon. It ended up across the lane in the hedge alongside the dung heap. I don't think I've ever seen such an intensely orange individual.

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