I'm struggling to think straight just at the moment. All will become clear later.
Friday 30th May.
An evening was spent at Berry Hill Fields in Stoke, to look for a Hoopoe that had been sighted earlier in the day. I did get a brief distant view of the bird, quite close to the radio mast right at the top of the hill. Despite searching nearer, and scrambling through a few electric fences, neither I or any of the other birders on site managed a better view. Perhaps a lesson there.
It is amazing how many good migrant birds turn up at Berry Hill. It's a green oasis surrounded by Hanley, Fenton, Longton and Bentilee. It's North Staffordshire's Fair Isle I suppose.
Saturday 31st May.
Afternoon spent at Uttoxeter Quarry with me mate and fellow birder, Andy.
Three of the goslings here appear much yellower, and have a different shape, to the other three Canada goslings. There is a white domestic goose around the quarry. Has she "done a Cuckoo" and laid three eggs in another Canada Goose's nest? Does this happen? I've heard of creches formed with Flamingoes but not Geese. This is a mystery for Scooby Doo to solve.
We managed a good selection of birds. Best of all was a singing Reed Warbler, another site tick.
We also managed one other sighting, and this'll teach us for straying away from the footpath. Which is not something I condone by the way, and I definitely wouldn't do this during working hours, as it is a working quarry. Let's just say, and I quote from Richie Benaud (cheque for royalties is in the post), we had a slight interruption for athletics. Something like this:
We had a real live streaker! A real full monty job. Thankfully I had put the camera away by this point. Not sure if he's the landowner of the adjacent fields, and unlike Andrew Symonds here, he didn't half scarper away from us! What was odd though, was by the time he reached the next field he had a pair of Speedo's on, where did he keep them? Must've have been in his cap, at least he wore that!
In over 20 years of birding, that's never happened to me before and I still can't quite believe it now. Not even at Studland Heath in Dorset, which happens to have a nudist beach next door. I shouldn't be too surprised though, it was a kind of League of Gentlemen moment that provided the inspiration for the name of this blog.
It's either appropriate, or ironic (not sure which yet), that later this evening I'll be paying a visit to Hawksmoor to look for Woodcock.