This month’s field trip, squeezed in before the start of the dreaded hunting season, involved a visit to Pego Marsh, where, unfortunately, most of the tracks had already been chained off in preparation for the following Saturday’s ‘blitzkrieg’. We were, however, able to stroll along, and see very many herons and egrets, including a late Squacco Heron, but waders were very scarce, as if they had got wind of the danger that was to follow shortly. A couple of female Marsh Harriers quartered the reeds, and several Swallows were making their way towards wintering areas. A few Yellow Wagtails were in evidence, and when we came within range of the hills, the regular presence of soaring Booted Eagles was noted. Bluethroats called, but mainly stayed well hidden. Tree Sparrows and Zitting Cisticolas flew from reedbeds nearby.
Making our way to another part of the marsh, we were instantly rewarded when Stephan and Els both had Wrens – not very common in these parts – as well as Blackcap, whilst Stephan and I managed to find a very lateGreat Reed Warbler. But it was Trevor’s sharp eyes that spotted the bird of the day, a fine Hobby, which subsequently flew right overhead. We saw a couple of Whinchats and a Wheatear in a dry field, and it was time to make our way to the picturesque village of Forna, where the excellent Restaurant Nautilus did us proud.