Lockdown Diary: Tuesday 26.5.20

I got a message last night that a birding friend of mine had heard at least three Quails calling on farmed fenland very near Peterborough. And first thing this morning another friend was there, hearing perhaps five calling males! I was on the scene by ...

I got a message last night that a birding friend of mine had heard at least three Quails calling on farmed fenland very near Peterborough. And first thing this morning another friend was there, hearing perhaps five calling males! I was on the scene by 5.20am, but the Quails had stopped calling.
A pair of (really tatty) Ravens flew by, the air was full of Sky Lark and multiple Corn Bunting songs. Red-legged Partridges, calling Yellow Wagtails and the odd Cuckoo. But no Quail. But then there was one calling. Then another. I waled along a track to perhaps record the sound of this one, coming from the middle a fresh wheat field. As I got closer a third bird called which sounded like it was from the track in front of me, less than 50m away.
Suddenly, this bird jumped up and flew across the other bird’s field and dropped down. I was able to follow it with my binoculars flying about 75m. This was only the second time I have ever seen a Quail in the UK! It was also comfortably my best ever view, with details like the face pattern, the long pointed wings and the white trailing edges to the wings visible. No photos, but the video is ingrained in my mind!