1 May 2009

Up with the Lark....................

Another 'lifer' today in the form of Crested Lark to bring me to the magic 450. What a day. A bit of phoning around and arranging schedules had me leaving home at 11.15 pm to meet up with the Shropshire SPAT's crew of Rich Vernon & Mike & Rob Stokes. The plan being I'd jump car at Dungeness and drive back with Malc 'homeless' Curtin who'd kipped overnight in his car after driving over from the Portland Collared Flycatcher. Fortified by Mike's Pork & Stilton pies the miles flew past.

We arrived to find Malc stilll coccooned in his sleeping bag and Skylarks singing already at 05.00 - a quick phone call had him rising bleary eyed from his dreams. A beautiful sunrise lifted the spirits but the banks of sea fog rolling in soon dampened them as visibility dropped to less than 50 m. Eventually the call went up that the bird had been seen in flight and an orderly procession of outwardly calm birders advanced to about 100 m where the bird was watched in the open for around 10 minutes. Of its own volition it flew several times and each time was watched from a safe distance.

With the Shropshire Crew travelling on to Portland I switched cars and Malc & I hung around until around 08.00 before setting off for Cheshire pausing only for a McDonald's breakfast and to pick up my car from where I'd left it in Shropshire - suprisingly it was still there and intact!
Nice to meet up with an old University friend today -Graham if you read this I've lost your e-mail address. The Lark was the star attraction but there were plenty of other birds of interest with Yellow Wagtail over and lots of photogenic Wheatears.
After the excitement of the last few days unbelievably the 'mega' alert went off again as I arrived home. Eastern Bonelli's Warbler, Portland. Oh shit. No chance of that over the next few days................

Birding in Stanney Woods with Molly in tow was always going to be a bit of a let down but getting the male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker drumming and calling was a nice way to end the day.

So in 3 hectic days I've had two UK lifers and one Cheshire lifer.

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