Sunday, 2 May 2010

Tripod's Revenge

At the time of writing (Sunday 2nd), with the exception of a Hobby going through Uttoxeter Quarry, that's been it for birding today. Somehow I've broke my tripod, the knob to move the tripod head horizontally has snapped right off. It must've happened last thing yesterday. Trying to go birding with a scope you can't move, it really is like losing a limb.

But anyway, before all that palava happened, I've got a bit of catching up to do. After work on Thursday with worsening weather, I checked Uttoxeter Quarry straight after work. It was pleasing to see a good sized wader flock. I counted 38 Dunlin and 6 Ringed Plover, then left it to Andy as I still had work shoes and trousers, wasn't that well dressed for the occasion. In the end it turned out to be 55 Dunlin and 14 Ringies.

Then there was my lunch break on Friday, another quick check of Doxey. When entering the hide a chap told me there was a Greenshank feeding on the mud.

Saturday 1st May.

A gloriously sunny morning, so lets try some woodland birding. Starting at Dimmingsdale, where I managed to see 5 male Pied Flycatchers, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Chiffchaff and a drake Mandarin.

Then onto Hawksmoor, where straight away there was one Wood Warbler next to the car park, with another one singing deep into the wood. Also a singing Tree Pipit:

A short walk from Hawksmoor is East Wall Farm, which is a delightful little spot. Very pretty.

There's an orchard and a small pool, pretty reliable for Redstart. A singing male Redstart was here, along with another male Pied Flycatcher. So that was a successful morning, after some lunch I had an afternoon drive around the North Staffs Moors. Admittedly with Dotterel in mind.

I didn't manage Dotterel, but over the afternoon I did see a dashing Hobby, a Wheatear, amongst the more usual Red Grouse, Curlews, Lapwings. The last place I checked was at Tittesworth Reservoir. I'm really glad I came here, because on the small island at the north end were two Whimbrel, busily having a wash and brush-up.

Also an Oystercatcher and Common Sandpiper on the conservation pool, with a good selection of finches on the feeders. And that was the end of a very enjoyable and successful day, but little did I know that at some point at the very end, I bodged my tripod. At least I can get it sorted out tomorrow, on the bank holiday. And if it happened in a fortnight's time I would be in real trouble.

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