Out of necessity, due to shift working, most of my birding is done alone, and participating in birding club events is rare. It was, therefore, good to be able to meet up with fellow members of the Leicestershire and Rutland Ornithological Society at Gibraltar Point. Arriving in the car park and paying my dues, I was treated to a Short Eared Owl hunting over the marshes and a male Stonechat (? Continental) near the visitor centre. Setting off with the group the heat was already increasing and I was soon wishing I was not so overdressed! Just the expected birds on the north lagoons, it was not until we arrived at the second car park that the unexpected happened. Within yards of the car park, a pair of male Crossbills were located, feeding with an immature female. Simultaneously, I spotted a male Ring Ousel (my first in four years) and a number of Green Hairstreak Butterflies! Carrying on towards the sea, my first Whitethroats sang out. We had heard that a good number of Shore Larks were frequenting the saltmarshes but a thorough search only revealed several Wheatears. Scanning the sea, a small group of Eider were a nice spot.
Green Hairstreak Butterfly