Posted on Tuesday, April 20th, 2010
GBG Director David Waters is in Saratov, Russia monitoring Great Bustards, and has sent the following short report via iPhone:
"A glorious day. I wish I had put on my felt sun hat rather than my deer stalker. However a day of brilliant sunshine and a light breeze is not enough to dry the mud out into a driveable state. Many of the villages are not served by tarmac roads, but the tracks that lead to them are generally fine. However the tracks around the edges of the huge fields are more tricky. Of three cars out for the census, two got stuck and needed the assistance of a tractor to get out. Frequently we would head down a likely looking track and have to either turn round or speedily reverse as the car sunk in.
Collectively was saw 75 Great Bustards, but I only found a solitary male.
The swallows are here, but still only in small numbers. Marsh Harriers are everywhere, as ever, but no Pallid or Montagu's yet. Northern and Isabelline Wheatears, Hoopoe, and Citrine and Grey Wagtails are about, but I imagine each morning will bring more arrivals if the fair weather stays.
Garganey, Greenshank and a booming Bittern made up the rest of today's bird list."