Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Saturday 3rd November 2012 - zzzzzzz Staffs Again zzzzz

So another day birding in Staffs. Westport was the first place to visit, as per usual. The immature drake Scaup (Stanley perhaps?) returned today having gone missing on the Friday. Quite a few thrushes flew over as well.

Then, the where next question. Its seems like every Saturday we have to find somewhere to go before we can enter Branston GP's at mid day. This week there had been one, maybe two GREAT GREY SHRIKES seen on the Chase. We headed to Beaudesert first, and met up with "fellow blogga" Paul Shenton from the Moors, and  more importantly Bill Brydges. Bill hasn't been too well recently, and so it was very nice to catch up with him. There was no sign of the Shrike here, so we followed Paul and Bill to Upper Longdon, where again we chatted, looked for the Shrike and then gave in. I've learnt with Shrikes that if they aren't there when you first arrive, wait a bit, then go, and say well that's Shrikes for you. You're either lucky, or unlucky, and its probably best not to waste too much effort chasing one. 

We headed over to Branston, popping into Kings Bromley layby as we passed. A Little Egret was feeding on the opposite bank, and with careful fieldcraft (parking the car behind a big bush, getting scope out quietly and walking slowly)), I was able to get some pictures of it.

Little Egret at Kings Bromley, November 2012.

And to think it was only just over 20 years ago on 31st May 1992 that I twitched a Little Egret at Rudyard to add it to my county list. Now, I've even had them fly over my house.

Little Egret, Rudyard Lake - 31/5/92 by WJL

We carried on to Branston GP's. It wasn't a bad visit, quite few waders on show, but nothing new had arrived. At least we had the Golden Plovers to count again.

Golden Plovers at Branston.

And so that's all for this week. Not much to say really. So time to pad the blog out a bit, as is the case in quiet times. The first week of November has seen quite a few decent birds in the past, all allowing me to take some stunning photo's.

On 7th November 2009, we saw the Fan-tailed Warbler down in Kent - a quite nice grip back.

FTW at Pegwell Bay CP, Kent - Nov 2009

In 2004, we popped down to Cornwall to tick the Little Crake at Marazion on 6th November. Another stunning picture is produced below.

Little Crake in Cornwall - Nov 2004

Back to 2002, and a Bobolink was the reward on 2nd November for standing in the pouring rain on Hengistbury Head. Copies of the picture are available at the usual prices. I can also reproduce it on coasters, tee shirts and posters.

Bobolink in the Bobolink field at Hengistbury Head - what a coincidence!

Even further back in time, in fact, 25 years ago, I saw the Forster's Tern at Penmon Point on Anglesey on the 1st November. And I haven't managed to catch up with another yet.

Forster's Tern sat on the large rock.

 And finally, back to 1986. On 2nd November, I twitched my very first BBRC rarity, the Lesser Grey Shrike at Aberdaron on the Lleyn Peninsular.  

My first BBRC rarity, (my first twitch??) - Lesser Grey Shrike at Aberdaron 26 years ago