Monday, 7 October 2013

5th October 2013 - A day to gloss over?

As happens in Autumn, the mega's were pouring in on an hour basis, which was great and really exciting if you were on Shetland. There wasn't much else around following a week of so called "rare-winds" but we decided on a trip out of the county during the morning, and then back into Staffs for the afternoon. It seemed a good plan. There was a late attempt at the "spanner in the works" birds with a reported PALLAS'S GRASSHOPPER WARBLER on Spurn. The bird was never confirmed as a definite on Birdnet and with not much of a supporting cast there and the fact that we'd only just been to Spurn, we decided to monitor the situation instead and stick to our original plans. 

We called into Red Rocks on our way north to see if the reported BLYTH'S REED WARBLER was showing or not. However, it was a bit cold and windy and there was no sign. We only stayed briefly before heading off to Pennington Flash in Greater Manchester.

The Lesser Scaup took a little while to find, but eventually "sharp-eyed" CJW located it on our second visit to the hide. This was my second Lesser Scaup at Pennington, having seen one there in July 2004. 

The Lesser Scaup at Pennington

It was our plan to go and see the Bolton/Doffcocker GLOSSY IBIS but there had been no news from the site yet today. We decided to head back to Staffs and to Doxey for the PECTORAL SANDPIPER that had been relocated midweek. Just as we were leaving the carpark, a message came thru saying the Glossy Ibis were still present. It was only ten minutes away and so off we headed.

The site took a little bit of finding as the wrong road name was given in the instructions. We were soon parked up along a very bumpy track and we walked across a few fields towards the pumping station by High Rid Reservoir. As we approached, we could see birders looking down into the field. We had been told they were showing well, but it was still a shock to see how well they were showing. They were literally feet away from us. Amazing views were had. We've certainly never been this close to a Glossy Ibis before. 

Glossy Ibis, High Rid Resv, Gtr Manchester

This shows how well the Ibis were showing.

We headed down the M6 to Stafford and next stop was at Doxey Marshes. We parked up and I checked my phone as per usual. There was a tweet from Chris Bromley that simply said "I've just found a Glossy Ibis at Tittesworth!"

This confused us rather, and another check of the phone revealed the news wasn't general knowledge yet. CJW tried to ring Chris to get further information while I put the news out and alerted a few birders so they could get up there quickly to keep us informed. Once all the calls were made, we went off the see the Pec Sand. 

We met another birder en route who told us it was showing well. He did say though that we were going to get our feet wet by walking to it. We were rather surprised at this, as no one else had mentioned any flooding. He told us to keep to the centre of the path, as birders in the week had been trying to walk around the flood and ended up waist deep in water. Imagine that!

We stood at the scrape by the pollarded willows for about 10 minutes but there was no sign of the pec. While we were waiting a Jack Snipe came into view bobbing merrily away. Eventually the Pectoral Sandpiper showed well but briefly as it kept disappearing into the vegetation.

Jack Snipe at Doxey

With the Glossy Ibis showing at Tittesworth still it was time to make the long trek to North Staffordshire. The journey was uneventful and I dropped GAS and CJW off at the causeway to join the other birders. I carried on a little bit further up the road to park the car. Walking towards me was the Clayheads No.1 stalker Brocton Ian. He told me the Ibis wasn't actually where I had dropped them off by the causeway but it had flown into the fields by where we were standing. I made the short walk up the road and there was the juvenile Glossy Ibis feeding away in a puddle. Eventually CJW and GAS arrived, panting and out of breath but very grateful that I'd dropped them off about a mile down the road. 

Tittesworth/Meerbrook Glossy Ibis - the 6th record of Glossy Ibis in Staffs.

Finally, my new popular music video section. Swamped with emails after last week video, so here's another one for you all.