Yesterday was a good day. Up early and an hour's drive up onto the Moors, where I'd a (large) area to cover for a Breeding Bird Survey - thankfully the sun was shining, the breeze was cool, and there wasn't another soul to be seen for my whole time up there (excluding the biplane pilot and the steam train passengers - and no, I wasn't tripping/time-travelling).
Thankfully the habitat was varied, and as a consequence so were the results; singing Cuckoos, plenty of Yellowhammers, Meadow Pipits in plague proprtions, Skylarks, Curlews, plenty of Willow Warblers and Whitethroats, and excellent numbers of Stonechats, many with fledged young. But it was the rarer cousins of the latter which stole the show, with no fewer than four Whinchat territories within my survey area.
Increasingly scarce and always a joy to stumble upon, watching them interact, defend territories, sing from perches and in flight (what a song!) and generally flaunt their undeniable good looks was a real treat. I'm back there in a couple of weeks, so fingers crossed they're all progressing well.
Back home to Filey in time to welcome our dear friends the Perlmans, who are with us for two nights of long overdue catching up and local frolics - which included an eventful but eventually successful Albatross twitch for the boy Yoav at the (very) end of the day. Good times.