12 Sep 2012

Baillon's Crake.

A Baillon's Crake did indeed turn up but unfortunately about as far away from Cheshire and in the worst direction it could possibly be! Rainham Marshes - a trip involving the M25 and not one for a Sunday. The other bird is a long awaited Semi-palmated Plover on South Uist. Another long journey but a rarer bird and an infinitely more attractive journey than Rainham.......

Did I really say that?

Well that's what I said a few days ago but the longer the bird stayed the more my resolve began to crumble and when Mark rang and suggested going early doors today I cracked and agreed to keep him company.

Leaving home at 03.00 we were on site at 07.00 and were let in by one of the cleaners around 07.15 but we couldn't get beyond the visitors centre. A nice lady from the RSPB then turned up and allowed us to walk round to the hide but told us it might not be open was and several people were already there as one of the volunteers had arrived even earlier at 06.00 but had to lock the gates behind him until reinforcements arrived. The bird had shown emerging from its presumed roost around 06.30 but hadn't been seen since. Aghhh! Knowing we would have a better chance before the noisy late risers arrived with their banging of tripods and scraping of chairs we were getting a bit worried after an hour and a half of not even a sniff and more frustrated by the single idiot who insisted in leaving his phone on and taking three calls whilst in the hide!

Luckily an astute birder to our right picked it up walking in the channel through the back of the reeds. Cue pandemonium and musical chairs as everyone tried to get a glimpse. Eventually I picked it up in my scope in all its spangly glory and had good views whilst at the same time tryign to get others on it. No pics as there wasn't the elbow room to move!

With more late comers arrivng we decided to head off and give others a chance in the prime position we we'd got by getting there early. Great views of at least two hunting Hobbies outside the visitors centre whilst we indulged in a breakfast of meat pies / pasties and homemade cakes.  They really are excellent and all cooked on site. Back in the office by mid afternoon.

Another good bird for the burgeoning year of the grip back.

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