Sunday, 8 May 2011

May Madness

There's not been much time for blogging recently, because there's been too many birds to either try to find, or to twitch!

Back to last Tuesday. I was heading to Burton for the evening anyway, so it was very useful that a lovely female Dotterel had been found at Whitemoor Haye. Very useful!

Then Wednesday, when another evening twitch was on. This time, a Wryneck found in the morning at Marshes Hill, just east of Knypersley Reservoir. It's an area that I knew wouldn't be quick to get to from home. Didn't get there until about 6:45, and no sign of the Wryneck in about an hour's wait. So that was a dip unfortunately, but useful to know where the place is.

Then to this weekend. On Saturday, with Blithfield being pretty quiet, Uttoxeter Quarry was an improvement with now 2 Wood Sandpipers around.

As for today. I'd just parked up in Uttoxeter for another check of the quarry, when the pager mentioned a Purple Heron at Ogston Reservoir in Derbyshire, sat in a tree next to the dam. I have a terrible record of dips for Purple Heron in Britain, and with plenty seen abroad I've never made an effort to twitch one for a long time. Not even the Doxey bird in 2005.

So I thought it's about time that changed. Less than an hour later, along the A50, A38 and through Alfreton. Setting up the scope in the public hide, the Purple Heron was still sat in a willow on the other side of the reservoir, next to the dam wall. Most of the time the bird was preening and stretching it's wings, then more difficult to see when the sun came out. This picture is reminisicent of those "magic eyes" that used to be popular, but the Purple Heron is there!

After about half an hour in the tree, the bird took off, had a fly around the reservoir for a bit, then got higher and moved off north-east. With my biggest bogey bird finally out of the way, no point in staying around now, so headed back towards home.

So during the afternoon, at Uttoxeter Quarry the 2 Wood Sands still around, but also a Greenshank around this time. And a Blithfield there was a Black Tern between the causeway and Beech Tree Point. I'd also been informed of a Grey Plover in Blithe Bay, a stunner apparently. I can't disagree with that!

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