Sunday, 25 April 2010

Apocalypse Cow

Sunday 25th April.

I've been suffering with a grotty sniffle all of Friday and Saturday, it kept me laid low all day Saturday. Very frustrating at this time of year, but feeling much better and raring to go today!

Starting at Uttoxeter Quarry, where there was an excellent selection of birds if nothing out of the ordinary. Highlights were a Garden Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, 2 House Martin, 1 Dunlin, 2 Common Sandpiper, 4 Goosander.

I decided to head over to Doxey again at this point. At the Homebase end of the reserve a cracking male Whinchat showed really well, in addition to at least one reeling Grasshopper Warbler, many Sedge and Reed Warblers.

A Black Redstart had been found at Berryhill Fields in the morning. I didn't know what else to do, so I thought I'd give it a try. In truth I was fully expecting not to see it, as I know Black Redstarts can be absolute swines to see most of the time. After parking up at the end of Mossfield Road, the walk towards the White Door Paddock I managed to find a few Wheatears. I did wonder if one of them was of the Greenland race, but not this one:

Some more Wheatears in the White Door Paddock, then as a small shower finished, I spotted a chat with a quivering tail, on the fence wires on the far side:

That was the Black Redstart alright, great stuff! I assume it was female, as it had a uniform greyish-brown all over, apart from the red tail. Just too quick for me to get any pictures of it, as it was constantly on the move, feeding away. In case you're wondering why it's called the White Door Paddock, this is why:

As a large black cloud was in the Uttoxeter area, I decided to finish back at the quarry. The rain had just stopped when I arrived. As Andy and Malc were already there, they just had 15 Dunlin drop in. Also a Ringed Plover and now 5 Common Sandpipers. Just shows you how quickly things can change at this time of year, especially with a bit of rain around. Also present, providing inspiration for this blog title, were the fan club:

Yes alright, calm down ladies. I'll sign some autographs after counting the Dunlin!

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