Saturday, April 2, 2011

A (very) short weekend away

Friday afternoon decided to do a trip to Cornwall for the weekend. On the way down stopped off at Dawlish Warren for a bit of a break with an outside chance that the Surf Scoter was still lingering. Only 3 Eider offshore but a male Wheatear on the way back was nice.

After spending the night at St Austell, first on the agenda was the male Ring-necked Duck at Stithians Reservoir. Havent been there for years and managed to go down most of the local lanes before finally arriving at the right part. On arrival, pretty straightforward to find with the Tufties.

Next on the list was Rose-coloured Starling, everything going smoothly as we approached Penzance then a phone call from Steve Smith. Are you in Dorset, theres a Red-Flanked Bluetail at Durlston! "Sorry Steve I thought you said Red-Flanked Bluetail there for a minute"
"Yes I did, got to go, got to get the news out"
Claire had heard the conversation and in a rather resigned manner said "looks like we have to go"
It was a bit of a tug as things were starting to turn up with Black Stork on Scilly and a Bee-eater at Fowey, but go we had to. Particularly as I did not see the Winspit bird.
On the way back news was patchy so we stopped off at the Jamaica Inn for some food, kind of waiting for more news. Another call from Steve at around 12.00 to say it had been relocated again and we were back on the road.
We were on site at around 2.30, it had just been seen and was showing every twenty of thirty minutes so no problem. 4.30 arrived and it still hadnt shown. People by now had started to drift around and it was looking rather forlorn. I had wandered off also, then at 4.45 a phone call from John Lucas, Martin had refound it. Legged it over there to find it had gone missing again. Another half hour passed and it was getting really frustrating so as a last resort out came the ipod and speaker. After around 10 seconds a bird came shooting across the top of the hedgerow, "thats it"! was the cry. It jumped around inside the hedge for a few seconds before coming out onto the fence wires for long enough to get the camera on it and it was off again.