Sunday 5 September 2010

A dippin' & a twitchin' in the East Midlands

Willington Pits, Derbyshire

With no confirmed sightings of yesterday's GREAT SNIPE at Spurn, I decided to stay relatively local today and attempt a few additional year species. The first trip of the day was up into Derbyshire where a Spotted Crake had been present for the past few days. As I sat on the platform waiting for the bird to appear I was relayed some disconcerting tales of nine hour waits and three second views. I gave it two hours but without even a twitch amongst the reeds or a small shadow being cast upon the shoreline I decided to quit. Consolation species included aGarganey, a Hobby (see below) and a single Greenshank.

A stunning Hobby surveys Willington Pits from a hawthorn.

Great Glen, Leicestershire

The last time I visited this area was to see a first winter Common Crane back in January 2003, where have the past seven years gone? After a long walk down the farm track I eventually stumbled upon a small group of birders. The good news was they all appeared to be engrossed, which is always a good sign. Just in front of them a superb Wryneck (271) showed well feeding along the edge of a set-aside field. If only all birding was this easy. The Wryneck continued to perform well, totally unconcerned about the various farm machinery being utilised nearby. Its patience was finally pushed to the limit however as an over eager photographer insisted on trying to get within a few feet of it. Needless to say the bird eventually flew a short distance away to resume feeding along a different edge of the field. It's always a privilege to connect with such a charismatic bird especially when it is less than a hours drive from home.

Wryneck - Great Glen, Leicestershire - September 2010
Photograph kindly provided by Carl Baggott

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