Friday, 17 August 2012

Wallasea Island: Quail & Corn Buntings

Arriving home around 4.15pm, I'm about to change and relax before dinner when the phone rings. It's Brian and he's asking if I want to try for Quail at Wallasea Island.
Of course I do and the same goes for dad. Brian has already ticked Quail a couple of days earlier and so knows the route.
Corn Bunting
It's roughly 40 miles from home and takes around an hour to reach the site. Reaching the car park the first birds seen are Corn Buntings. There are large numbers flying around the car park and surrounding areas.
On Tuesday Brian heard Quail from the car park soon after stepping out of the car, Tonight we are not quite so lucky.
We meet a couple who have walked to the far end of the field, and they say that they have not heard any Quail as yet.
Undeterred we make our way to the far end and listen for any sound. After a few minutes of waiting I hear my first ever Quail.
We wave to the couple who have now reached the car park and the guy returns hoping to hear it for himself. He's greeted with silence, and for another ten minutes it remains silent apart from the wind which is making it a little more difficult to hear the birds.
Then a Quail starts to utter it's unmistakable "wet-me-lips" call. It's surprisingly loud above the noise of the wind. It utters it's call in three and four call bursts and then falls silent again.
We manage to hear at least three birds calling while at Wallasea.
Corn Buntings are abundant here, along with sightings of Whitethroat, Linnet, Grey Wagtail, Kestrel and Marsh Harrier it's been a good little session.
Shortly after leaving Wallasea and heading for home we spot a Hobby, which lands in a tree. There's also a family party of Red-legged Partridge in the same field.
Arriving home around 9pm I've added Quail to my life and year lists.

Next stop will be the Birdfair at Rutland Water on Saturday.

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