Trip report: Frampton-on-Severn (31 May 2013)

It was a glorious early summer evening. The midges were ‘dancing’ in numbers uncountable, but where were the Hirundines? Approximately 200 at the same time last year but a single Swallow and only ten Swifts on this occasion – really rather troubling. However, nine members identified 38 species, ten of which presented before leaving the car park. Whilst it was very welcome to be able to make comparisons between Common Tern and summer plumage Black-headed Gull on the mid lake pontoon, the star bird of the evening was a seemingly resting, in transit, Yellow Wagtail. It had chosen to perch on dead bramble covering the lowest tier of a pylon and illuminated by late evening sunshine so that everyone was able to make leisurely observations. A Buzzard carrying what appeared in profile to be a young rabbit also came to rest, this time atop a hedge, before continuing its journey. Firstly a Cuckoo and then a Nightingale were heard briefly and so tantalizingly that four of the group eventually returned to the location of the latter where a more fulsome but still incomplete song was appreciated. Goslings, being shepherded towards the lake in a huge crèche by Greylag, Barnacle and Canada Goose parents restored our faith in numbers. It had been a varied and rewarding evening and as ever, was good to conclude in fading light with the bats taking over the patrol.