Monday, 15 June 2009
Local Mega - singing EUROPEAN TURTLE DOVE
Just as it looked as though the spring passage was over, new arrivals are still taking place
Most thrilling and following on from the first at Calvert BBOWT this year (per Jon Holt), the first EUROPEAN TURTLE DOVE in my recording area for many years was discovered by Dave Hutchinson yesterday morning. I quickly made my way over and enjoyed excellent views of the bird late afternoon, the bird singing from an open perch.
The dove is at the overgrown brickwork site (Boxmoor Trust land now) at Bovingdon Green (at TL 005 028). Park on Shantock Hall Lane and follow the footpath NE for 250 yards to the gate. There is an entrance to the land here and the Turtle Dove was 'singing' from the tall trees literally in line with Gilbert Motors.
There were also 2 male GARDEN WARBLERS singing, at least 4 COMMON WHITETHROATS (including a pair feeding young), a singing male Common Chiffchaff, pair of Linnets, 2 singing male Song Thrushes and a family party of Great Tits.
Following a text from Dan Forder, I then went to meet up with Dave Bilcock and Pitstone Hill.
During an hour in the evening (1930-2030 hours) in balmy flat calm conditions, three calling male COMMON QUAIL was heard in the large barley field opposite the main car park at SP 957 150 and west of Down Farm, all well spaced apart and calling very infrequently.
There was also a gathering of 23 Fallow Deer in the field, a certain Sue Rowe, good numbers of singing Eurasian Skylarks, at least 12 Meadow Pipits feeding young, 4 Linnets and at least 5 CORN BUNTINGS (again, some adults carrying in food).
Nearby at Great Seabrook (SP 930 166), I recorded an adult HOBBY.
Close to home, an adult TAWNY OWL carrying food flew across the bottom end of Bell Lane at 1020 hours.
It has been an excellent year for local FIRECRESTS, with 5 different singing males in Wendover Forest, a pair successfully breeding near Bison Hill and at least four different singing males in Ashridge Forest.