Saturday 25th Sept. 2010
A strange day started with an early trip to Draycote water to look for the Lesser Scaup reported the previous day. It is presumed to be the returning bird from last year arriving within a few days of last year's arrival date. Whatever, I didnt see it. I met up with the Blurred Birder anxious to gain a tactical advantage over rival regional year lister Julian Allen. The gamble almost paid off with Julian heading for Worcestershire to clean up on Pec. Sand. and Lapland Bunting. In the event despite checking most of the Tufties and the western side of the res, and the experienced eye of Draycote recorder John Judge we came up with nothing. There was clearly a good deal of migration going on with Yellow wagtails and Meadow pipits on the banks and the sound of Skylarks moving high overhead. Walking back to the centre we saw a Peregrine overhead and as we passed the Sailing club on our way to Rainbow corner we had a message from JJ saying there was a juvenile Gannet flying over the Country Park. Martyn and I were right next to the Country Park but with no view, being right under the trees. By the time we could get a view the bird had flown off down the valley completely ignoring the reservoir. What a sickner, if we had been anywhere else on the res we would probably have seen it. Anyway my birding time was up as I was due for a stint ( I wish) of Dog sitting. That wasnt the end of the tribulations though. News that an American Flycatcher had been found in Norfolk triggered the usual reaction of panic and feined indifference. On the basis that nobody knew what the hell it was and I wouldn't get to Blakeney point by dusk and I'd seen Alder Flycatcher the previous year anyway I almost relaxed. Almost. Further news that it may be a completely different species started the whole sorry dilemma again. A couple of pints at the tap didnt help. I made some tentative enquires and when Tony Shepherd offered me a lift the decision was made. There was still a final twist to what had been a day of missed chances. Further doubt had been cast on the identity of the Flycatcher and those who purport to know about such things had come to the conclusion that it was probably an Alder Flycatcher. So the trip was aborted, Lets just hope the Villa come up with a win this afternoon.
Would you Adam and eve it, Northern Parula on Tiree. Here we go again. Watch this space!