Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Oggy Oggy Oggy, Oi Oi Oi

Ever since seeing that Kittiwake last week, I've developed a rotten cold. It was at it's worst over the Saturday and Sunday. I really should've just stayed at home, but that's the trouble with these pagers, they tempt you to go out.

And in the end, on both days I really should've stayed at home anyway. Blithfield on Saturday afternoon was very quiet. As for Sunday afternoon at Uttoxeter Quarry, with my mind thinking "right, where are the waders and where's the Garganey", I overlooked a flock of gulls. Which probably contained the juvenile Med Gull that was found by the county recorder (glad you were looking Nick!).

A short spell in the Tad Bay hide at Blithfield afterwards did produce the nice flock of 13 Curlew Sandpipers, but no sign of the Osprey. So other than the Curlew Sands, a pretty forgettable couple of days really.

So to Bank Holiday Monday. And again I wasn't planning on a serious day's birding. That was until a pager message mentioned a Sandwich Tern at Westport Lake. Well why not have a butchers at it, won't take too long. And I'm glad I did go because the bird showed wonderfully well.

Perhaps showing too well. The Sandwich Tern did appear to be rather lethargic whilst sat on the post, I was concerned that it may be ill. But perhaps it was just due to exhaustion. Not a lot of time was spent here because whilst driving to Westport Lake, news filtered through of a juvenile Citrine Wagtail at Ogston Reservoir in Derbyshire. It's an excellent record for the midlands, so I grabbed some lunch and off I went, only about an hour's drive away.
I haven't been to Ogston for donkey's years, but ever since I started blogging I've felt I should find an excuse to come here, if only to use that terrible blog title! I saw my first Red-rumped Swallow here in 1991, plus a few winter gull roosts that didn't amount to much. Lining up with the other assembled birders I stood with Barrie Staley and his family.

I suppose Barrie was my birding mentor as a young lad. Barrie used to work at the same company in Burton as my dad, so we were privy to all sorts of bird info (including the Ogston Red-rumped Swallow of 1991), which to this day I am grateful for. That's probably why I'm still birding now.

Oh yes, the Citrine Wagtail. In a two-hour twitch there was one brief view of the bird after about an hour, wandering out of the flowering daisies and into some short grass. That was until a Pied Wagtail chased it up and away somewhere, too fast to follow it in my scope. Then about another hour later the bird decided to show well, albeit a bit distant, along the shoreline. The prominent double wing bars and bold supercilium that stretches around the back of the head being visible.

With a scope zoomed up to the max, and camera zoomed up to the max. This is probably the worst ever picture of a Citrine Wagtail, they were easier in Poland! This really is the bird, the wing bars are noticeable, but not much else.

But still, a successful twitch, and a much better way of shaking off a cold than stopping at home.

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