31 May 2015

Hale the crex.

News filtered out last week that a Corncrake had been heard singing on private land with no access in Hale. Corncrake used to be a fairly common breeding bird in Cheshire during the 1940-50's but, like over most of its former range in the UK, has now become a vary scarce visitor and there hasn't been a singing bird for many years. Nothing more was thought about it as being private land there was little hope of being able to gain access. still continued coming out and then photos started coming out with the message 'private land with no access'.

It wasn't until I'd returned from Somerset on Friday that I found out from friends that the bird was actually being heard and occasionally being seen from Carr Lane - a public road! The last time I saw or heard Corncrake was on Iona in 2007 so I was pretty keen to see this bird as it was also a county first for me.

Within minutes of arriving and peering into its favoured field the crex was picked up singing and then  it was seen furtively moving through the long grass. For the next hour it was seen and heard almost constantly as it followed a Grey Partridge around whilst a small but appreciative audience admired it from behind a hedge.

With singing Corn Bunting & Yellow Wagtail it was like a hark back to 60 years ago when such sounds were common in the county. We'll never know if this is bird is from one of the east coast re-introduction schemes or a genuinely displaced bird from the Hebrides but with a showy bird recently on Shetland mainland and another crex on Anglesey it appears we've had a small influx! It'll be interesting to see if news filters out about anymore locally.


Findlay Wilde said...

What a great bird to get to see. I was hoping it might just fly over and land at Frodsham Marsh yesterday.

Phil Woollen. said...

its still there today Findlay. Early morning or late evenings seem to be best.