7 Jul 2008

Its wet enough for waders.

The week started off badly and got worse as the days marched on. Firstly the Little Swift was relocated near Barnsley but I couldn't get away from work until 15.30 and missed it by 25 minutes. A real sickener! Secondly whilst enroute to the Saltholme Pools Terek Sandpiper Sunday evening Al Ortons car threw a sickie and we ended up 30 miles from the bird and waiting for the AA to trailer us home eventually arriving in Cheshire well after 01.30. A real downer but especially for Al. Malc Curtin decided to go today so I jumped in the car, at short notice, to make the numbers up after helping Al sort his vehicle out. We arrived in poor weather and spent a good couple of hours looking for the Terek that was last seen flying! Just as we despondently sat in the car debating whether to leave some kind soul knocked on the window to tell us it had been refound. My second Terek and a bit of a comfort after missing the Anglesey bird of 2005 by one day whilst abroad! Unfortunately we all saw it except for Malc! Despite hanging aound it failed to reappear and putting a brave face on it, Malc decided to drive home. A subdued journey as we mulled over events. Its never nice when one person out of a group doesn't see the bird and it rarely happens with us.
Driving home along the M56 I received a call from Geoff Robinson of Inner Marsh Farm telling me he'd found a Pectoral Sandpiper on the reserve! 10 minutes later I was watching it from a distance with just two others before Mr Duff arrived. As well as the star attraction the long staying immature Spoonbill was present along with Common & Green Sandpipers and a handful of summer plumaged Spotted Redshanks!

With poor weather all weekend there wasn't much birding done but a rare trip to Rivacre Valley lnr was rewarded by the site of an adult Kingfisher feeding two recently fledged young sat in the wood about 50 m from the stream. If only I'd taken the camera................. Apart from the resident Grey Wagtails there wasn't much else around with mos of the migrants now keeping quiet as they raise young. It was good to see (or rather hear) so many Bullfinches around.
A Saturday walk along the Shropshire Union canal from Stoak towards Chester was abruptly halted by bad weather but the sun shone long enough for us to enjoy a pint outside the Bunbury Arms.
News from the BOU is that they've finally accepted Hooded Merganser on to the British list. Bring it on! All the Cat 'D' species are being reviewed and the smart moneys on Baikal Teal, White-headed Duck and Marbled Duck to be added! Kerching!

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