Peregrine - Hams Hall
30th September 2009
Its a lovely time of the year to be out and about, theres still a bit of warmth in the sun, the autumn gales havent begun, the leaves are beginning to turn and the countryside looks a picture. All we need is a few birds make things perfect. The prolonged easterlies 2 weeks ago didnt produce major falls on the east coast but certainly contributed to some good birds now being found in the Midlands : the Aquatic warbler in South Warks, the Common Rosefinch in Leicestershire and the Spotted Crake at Ladywalk, its surprising there hasnt been more Wrynecks found, yet. Its long been by ambition to find a Wryneck, you can dream about finding a mega but I'd be very happy with a Wryneck.
Enough of fantasy, yesterday I had a wander around the Grendon Common, Baddesley and Merevale area. Not much doing Im afraid, no migrants at all but having bemoaned the lack of Skylarks in the spring it was good to see a small flock of Skylarks in some set aside between Merevale and Grendon. Lunch was taken at the Cedars Cafe in Whitaker Heath. Oeuf et Saucisse avec pain blanche et HP.Very nice with a mug of coffee and a read of the Sun. Well not so much read
Anyway onward and upward, Lea Marston and Coton had a few returning Wigeon and Pochard but nothing else of note except a couple of Chiffchaff. Ladywalk then, at least there was the chance of a distant Spotted Crake. The signs saying Apologies but essential work in progress didnt deter me from my last chance of seeing a few birds to end the day. Even though I had to do the fire walking thing to prove I was a fit and proper person to be a member of the West Mids Bird Club. I was determined to get to Riverwalk hide no matter what obstacles I had to face. I had visions of Steve's next test being a huge round boulder released from Riverwalk hide and rolling down the perilous path towards me. Would I be crushed by the boulder, driven into the stingers or forced to face the all consuming flames - again.
As I sat in the hide alone I wondered if it had all been worth it. A Green Sandpiper, Water Rail and a few Snipe seemed scant reward for my tribulations. I was joined by Steve Cawthray who looked as if he'd just put in a shift at the coal face. All of a sudden the hide began to fill up. The Spotted Crake appeared and disappeared almost as quickly. It seemed typically unpredictable in terms of the length of time it spends in cover or out on the mud, better luck next time perhaps.
There are a few images to hopefully brighten up lets face it a pretty dull post.