11 Apr 2008

Phew, what a week!

Still jet lagged Monday I was up and out early for a meeting at Runcorn via Woolston Eyes for Black-necked Grebe when the mega alert went off - Dark-eyed Junco Dungeness! It had to be done. With events conspiring against me to prevent me seeing the long staying Cheshire bird residing only 10 minutes from my house and missing the Norfolk bird last year this bogey had to be nailed!!!!!
A mad dash down to Dungeness saw me arriving just after lunch to join the throng of 50+ birders present. The bird eventually showed reasonably well but viewing was difficult as it kept going back into bushes in its favoured garden.
Satisfied I set off for home and had reached Sandbach when thenews from Mr Patchlister himself that a Long-eared Owl was showing at Neumanns Flash! I got there and enjoyed great views of this Cheshire scarcity before if flew!
Amazingly a White-spotted Bluethroat near Lancaster stayed a second day and the temptation of a 'race tick' was to much and I duly arranged to meet Malc Curtin and drive the short way up the M6 to where the bird performed faultlessly. A stunning little bird and part of a nationwide mini influx over the last week.
Thursday saw me on Anglesey and as I was returning to the office news came through that a Great-grey Shrike was at Moss Side, Moore. Another good Cheshire bird! With help from local birders Rob Smallwood & Frank Duff I was able to get straight onto the bird. This was my 4th Cheshire Great-grey Shrike since 2004. Unbelievably a 2nd bird has turned up today on the Wirral - unless its the Moore bird relocating!
Whats the weekend going to bring? Locally I hoping for Ring Ouzel and possibly an early Redstart. Nationally I predict Greater-spotted Cuckoo. Hopefully somewhere easy to reach.....

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