7 May 2012

Two Cheshire rarities in a day.

Can the year get any better birders in Cheshire? Hot on the heels of the winters star birds - White-fronted Geese, Bean Geese, Great White Egret and Spoonbill we've already had Black-winged Pratincole  and Temmincks Stint just prior to the Bank Holiday weekend whilst two Common Cranes graced the Rixton area a couple of weeks ago. With migrants flooding in the expectation of something unusual turning up was high and sure enough a Wryneck was found by Andy Goodwin Saturday afternoon at Sandbach. Actually it was Andy's dog that found it after doing what all dogs love to do and sniffing for rabbits in a gorse bush. Out shot a Wryneck!

With the chores I'd set myself to do Sunday morning over and news that the Wryneck was showing well
I finally buckled - especially with the added bonus of a nearby summer plumaged Slavonian Grebe found by Steve & Jill Barber on their local patch.

Arriving at the designated site for the Wryneck (thanks Mrs Jones!) I found about 20 people waiting there and news that the bird hadn't been seen for an hour. As usual in these situations a few people get bored and start talking to loudly. Suddenly I spotted the bird flying away from us before disappearing behind a more distant clump of grass. Someone else then saw it fly from here further down the track although  I don't think many believed us. It soon became obvious by the higher intensity of the talking that drastic positive needed to be taken and with everyones agreement I back tracked down to the nearby bridge and walked along the edge of the tip security fence (rather than along the path which would have flushed the bird) to try and find the bird further along the railway embankment). Bingo! Only my second Cheshire Wryneck was there feeding unconcernedly about 60 m away. Giving the thumbs up to the waiting crowd I had the bird to myself for a few minutes until others caught up.

As more people turned up the bird suddenly spooked and dashed back into the gorse but after spending nearly three hours on site I decided to leave it and head for nearby Chelford for the Slavonian Grebe. Another scarce Cheshire bird and the first I've seen here in summer plumage.

What a great four days birdng in Cheshire!

1 comment :

Alex H-Jones said...

Superb - I wish i'd taken the risk and gone for the Wryneck now!