Tried for Lifer 254 tonight at Druridge.
The weather had affected the expected throng, that 'amassed' but three, inc. 'Sir' Alan Gilbertson and 'Lord' Brian Bullough (and a guy from Chesterfield of all places) - quality over quantity, I would suggest. Brian had seen it, Alan had seen them before but had arrived a few minutes ahead of me and a few minutes behind the other chap. Alas, I was initially shunned by the quarry.
BUT, I ventured to the rear of the bushes/trees/shrubs where it had been seen to drop before I got there. And along with a Willow Warbler and a Reed Bunting, a bird whose call was like nothing heard before. With my Jilly Goolden head on, there was essence of Blackbird amongst others. And so, 254 and 183 for the year. Yippee!!
AND, I watched a Stoat hopping trough the long grass from right to left across my path and out of sight. Moments later, left to right. Then a minute or so later it emerged and got within THREE feet of where I stood before our eyes met, it dropped its dinner (it's a posh stoat as it was actually tea time!), and did the quickest u-turn known to man and off at warp factor three. Its meal - a Magpie chick (makes a change for the Mag-ettes to get preyed upon).
AND better still, a little later, as my fleece got heavier with absorbed precipitation (rain), and my specs too, from the east shore appeared Asio otus in all its glory. And after being chased by SWALLOWS (yes, those cute little hirundines have a mean streak!) into the thicket along the shore, it then appeared and was only four feet above my head.
And at 20:00 hrs, time for tea, and before leaving, a quick chat with Stew the Smew who has arrived late and reports a quiet season so far for the SW N/land Nightjars, with only two breeding pairs noted to date.
And now I must dash and await Crammy Birder's tales of finding the Marsh Warbler via his blog. Can't wait!!!!