1st August 2010
After completing duties a timely message from Draycote got the day moving. Not always confident about seeing birds at Draycote particularly at the weekend because of the level of disturbance but as the Sanderling had stayed all day Saturday and was clearly quite confiding judging from Dave Hutton's suberb images it was well worth a go. Draycote was busy, with a large number of Sailing Dinghies on the water. No other birders about so a bit of searching was required before The Sanderling (158) was located in the company of 2 Common Sandpipers in Toft bay, it was quite mobile often flying to the other side of the bay with the Sandpipers.
The afternoon was spent visiting but another timely message on the way back had me searching the hedges around Laundry Lane, Alvecote for a Common Redstart. I extended the search into Staffs. I met Malc who had seen the bird (or another) the previous day north of 'the orchard' but there was no sign. In a call from Steve Haynes about a Marsh Harrier, it emerged that it was Steve and John Alton who had found the Redstart a couple of hours earlier. With more specific info. the Redstart (159) was soon located.
So what about the Marsh Harrier. Orton -the-Hill was literally just up the road from where I was so it wasnt long before I joined Steve and John scanning the prairie-like expanse of corn below the village. We didnt have to wait too long before the juv/fem Marsh Harrier began quartering the fields quite distantly. As we watched John picked up a call and then Steve picked up a Parakeet high overhead. John and I agreed on Ring necked Parakeet(160). The fact that the bird was heading directly towards Twycross Zoo was purely coincidental !