I've spent the past week undertaking bird surveys in the Scottish Borders and for once the weather has been reasonably kind. Highlights of the survey work have included Short-eared Owl on breeding territory, a 1st summer male Hen Harrier and some impressive numbers of breeding Snipe, Lapwing and Curlew along with a few Redshank. However, perhaps the most unexpected encounter was with a family party of Woodcock which wandered across the track in front of the car on a couple of occasions. This is the first time I have seen a Woodcock with chicks, so it was a truly special experience and a reminder of why I am lucky to be doing this for a living.
Freelance ornithologist and tour leader based in Scarborough, N Yorkshire.