Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Tiny fame

I've just found out that my Sandhill Crane video was used on the Birdguides review of the week here. This is obviously the Palme d'Or of birding videos so I'm currently prepping my acceptance speech.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Closer than Scotland

When the Sandhill Crane was found at Strathbeg I briefly considered going (it's a crane!) even going as far as to check out flight times but eventually decided it was a twitch too far. When it flew south I kept hoping it would be picked up and stick closer to home. Which it did. On Sunday, the day I was scheduled to take the wife and kids to see my parents. Who live about 20 miles from where the crane was refound. After some serious soul searching I decided that bunking off to see the bird was not really a possibility so I kept my fingers crossed overnight and headed up early the next day.

Looking across the fields not long after sunrise, the crane was showing extremely well and later flew even closer.

As the day warmed up it became a bit more active and, at nearly quarter past nine, flew off low down the coast. Walking back past the people who were still arriving on site it was hard to look them in the eyes, but luckily it didn't go far and was refound soon afterwards.

I headed up to Minsmere for a general mooch around. The place has been turned into a building site with the North Wall having major flood prevention work done, one of the hides being rebuilt and mini-tractors all over the place. Highlights were an unexpected Pec Sand that was showing well and drawing a small crowd and good numbers of Beardies pinging in the reeds and occasionally giving good views. Otherwise things were pretty quiet on the scrapes with a Knot, a few Avocets and c30 Blackwits. There were several mixed flocks of finches, tits and warblers which provided a bit of excitement but didn't produce anything unexpected.

I stopped off on the way back home at Levington creek. A great little site which had turned up a Dotterel earlier in the day. By this time it was high tide and the roosting waders included Blackwit, Avocet and a juv Curlew Sandpiper. Initially no sign of the Dotterel, but a bit of a wait watching Golden Plovers drop into a field eventually revealed the Dotterel.