As I was getting my bike out of the shed to leave at 4:15am a male Tawny Owl was calling only metres form outside my back garden. Unfortunately, there was barely any light which made it impossible to see despite only being metres from were I was stood.
I arrived at about 5:40am and the sun had not yet risen. I walked around the clearing for the whole period of time before the sun rose hoping to encounter at least one obliging Woodcock but to no avail. The only bird of note before sunrise was a hooting male Tawny Owl. Later on after sunrise, I resorted to trudging through the wood hoping to either flush one whilst listening out for the drumming of a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, my second target species. However, this barely reaped rewards as I only got a brief view of a probable WOODCOCK burst up from the forest floor grunting and zigzagging away into a clearing where I assumed it landed out of sight but could not relocate it. As the morning wore on, the commoner woodland species made an appearance. I was particularly surprised at the large number of Treecreepers and Nuthatches present. This probably helped to explain the 3 Sparrowhawks and 2 Kestrels hunting through the wood. Also of note were 3 Buzzards and a single Fieldfare. I also saw and heard my first Willow Warbler of the year (at least 3 were present in the small area I visited).
- cloud 2/3 shade 1-2/3
- wind 2/3 (at top of hill)
- temp. 1/3
2 of the 3 male Ring Ouzels on the SE Beacon slope
STEPS HILL AND INCOMBE HOLE
I was given the tip of that another Ring Ouzel had been found in Incombe Hole prior to my visit so I made a brief visit hoping for a female as I had only seen males so far at Ivinghoe. Luck was on my side and soon I had a distant view of yet another ♀ RING OUZEL feeding on the open ground amongst the bramble bushes. Also of note were several more singing Willow Warblers, 1 Red Kite, 2 Bullfinches, 2 Kestrels and 1 Green Woodpecker.