16 May 2009

If this was the east coast...................

Full of expectation the Saturday Hilbre crew departed the foreshore at West Kirby anticipating an Island heaving with birds. With a S E wind blowing surely an Icterine, Melodious or perhaps someting even rarer would make it our way?

The omens were good when a Peregrine was seen on the rocks between Little & Middle Eye. Birders are a superstitious breed and consult the oracle whenever they need reassurance. Some of us bypass the oracle and just consult the navel. Navel gazing is a massively underated past time.

Our expectations begun evaporating when the wind showed no signs of abating and the Island seemed strangely devoid of birds. Only a couple of Willow Warblers and a single Wheatear were grounded but a strong hirundine passage kept us entertained. The male Common Scoter and a handful of Whimbrel inhabited the foreshore whilst Frank inhabited the kitchen and kept us all fortified with tea.

A party of Mute Swans provided an unusual sight as they landed on the east side of the Island and stayed an hour before departing for Point of Air.

As energy levels began to dip Mrs Williams junior's sublime Coffee & Walnut cake was produced by Steve and as the sugar levels increased so did the optimism. Crumbs of comfort for the hardened crew.

Being an optimist there was still half the cake left............................. so still full of optimism I decided to head out and carry on the search for the elusive rarity once I'd reached home.

Bundling Molly into the back of the Landrover I left the drive only to be distracted by the local corvids creating a racket and obviously upset by something. A long winged raptor appeared through the windscreen and my first reaction was 'harrier'. Reversing back up the drive I grabbed the camera off the front seat as the raptor flew straight over the house. F*ck me it was a Red Kite!!! Getting harrassed all the time by the beligerent Crows it initially headed S W before giving up trying to fly into the teeth of a gale and drifted N W up the Wirral.

Awesome! The day suddenly got an awful lot better. My optimism was well placed!

1 comment :

Steve J Makin said...

hey Phil, Steve Makin here (Sigmma 50-500 lens seller), I also saw a red kite whilst driving along the A55 to Conway RSPB from Bangor lat Saturday, almost crashed the car at the shock :-)