Sunday, 23 November 2008

Bring on the Wall!

I've been waiting for ages to use that as a blog title!

Sunday 23rd November, Tittesworth Reservoir, 11:15 - 13:30

I went into lazy twitcher mode today. That being wait to hear on news of the Spotted Sandpiper before making my way to Tittesworth. Even switching my mobile on as soon as I woke up, there was a text from Kay asking for news as they were on their way up from Birminnum. Thankfully I knew that Andy was going up there first thing. A few minutes later there was the positive news in his text message. Cheers my friend, much appreciated!

Later in the morning I arrived at Tittesworth and made the walk to the dam. Which was rather eventful actually. Including a young enthusiastic dog trying to bite my ankles off, a sleet shower, and a text from Kay saying "some twit has flushed the bird taking a photo too close". Thankfully there was another text as I nearly arrived at the dam to say the bird had been found again. You might guess where this is going folks!

On arrival at the dam, with Kay and Max was Stuart the Alrewas Birder. The Spotted Sandpiper was along the outflow of the River Churnet below the dam. And was showing well, until some moron (who will be referred to from now on as "Mr Wazzuck") decided that he just needed to get closer than everyone else. When I say close, I mean directly opposite the bird on the river, and the Churnet is a narrow river here. Unsurprisingly, Mr Wazzuck flushed the bird and it flew back to the dam wall.

There's always one isn't there? Mr Wazzuck was definitely old enough to know better, I blame the kids. I don't know why some birders feel the need to do this. Not only did he disturb the bird and had a wasted walk, but especially in these days of the internet and digital photography, the likes of me will photograph and shame you in front of the internet!

Here's Mr Wazzuck making his way back to the dam.

In a way I suppose I should thank Mr Wazzuck as eventually the bird made it's way across the dam wall, but I was happy with the view I had before he felt the need to move it on. I don't really understand why most birders there continually followed the bird along the whole length of the dam. I prefer to wait for the bird to come to me (told you I was a lazy twitcher), especially as it's a Sandpiper on a concrete dam wall. Here's the result, thanks to Kay for allowing me use of her photo.

The clouds were gathering, so we decided to head back to the car park at the other end of the reservoir. Any thoughts of visiting Park Hall Country Park were most definitely cancelled when it rained the whole walk back and I got soaked to the skin.

Spotted Sandpiper is a Staffordshire tick for me. There was one at Belvide in 2005. I didn't have a permit for Belvide then, although I have since seen the light.


Karen Woolley said...

Hi Richard,

I'm enjoying reading your blog, I live in Seaton, East Devon now but am originally from Burton-on-Trent. Spent several years living near to Uttoxeter too. I wasn't birding then and it's very interesting to hear of all the good birding in the area. My parents still live in Burton so when I next visit I'll have to try and fit in a few of these local birding sites. I see you get lots of Goldeneye and Pochard. They're a real scarcity on our little patch, (local twitch material!) send some our way please! I'm not complaining though, we do have some great birds too.:-)


Richard Powell said...

Hi Karen

Thanks for getting in touch, it's great to hear from a fellow Burtonian!

I've put a link to your blog on here. I will gladly swap you some duck for a few Cirl Buntings!


Kay said...

Proof that bad behaviour isn't confined to megas - it even happens at a local twitch for local people these days.

Still, it was a most enjoyable twitch despite the wazzacks and the soakings.

Richard Powell said...

Yes I'm glad I didn't leave my mobile switched on overnight, otherwise there would've been a rather rude awakening!

At least I knew the Cheadle crew (Andy and Mad Malc) were going there first thing in the morning. They know me too well know for getting up early in the morning! ha ha.

Kay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kay said...

Richard, you are living proof that it's not necessary to get up at the break of dawn in order to see the good birds.