Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Wednesday April 29

After a brief period of heavy rain this morning I was quite keen to get down to the patch after work. I only achieved this by 19.00, by which time the low sun was dazzlingly bright, and the wind was a stiff westerly. Not very auspicious.

Which just goes to show what I know, because this was to be a better than average visit. To start with the flash was quite busy, with a pair of Little Ringed Plovers, the pair of Redshank, and no less than six Teal still present.

Peering through the hedge I noticed a Yellow Wagtail standing on the mud. Before you yawn, I feel I should point out that I didn't see one here at all last year, my only record being a single heard-only record. So I decided this bird would be recorded with a photograph no matter what. So yes, here we go again, after a great deal of effort and long periods of trying to relocate it in the middle of the field I eventually took a series of, ahem, record shots, of which this is the best.

Yellow Wagtail
 The bird in question is just close enough to deduce that it is a female. As the sun started to sink to the horizon I thought I had better give the pool a quick look. I was pleasantly surprised to see about a dozen Swallows there, no doubt as a result of the chilly temperature. a little group perched pleasingly on the branch which sticks out of the pool.

Down the road, Haselor was also producing the goods. Jon Yardley rang to let me know he had discovered three Whinchats there, but also that it was almost out of water. This is a pity because I had it down as a secret weapon in the upcoming bird race competition thing which Matt Griffiths is organising for May 9.

Briefly, Morton Bagot is to be temporarily supersized to include Haselor scrape and Middle Spernal to give us some chance of competing with the likes of Earlswood, Newton scrape (wherever that is), Charlecote, and apparently Draycote and somewhere in the Tame Valley. It sounds like two competitions in one to me, but it should be fun anyway. Our team currently consists of me, Dave Scanlan, Mike Inskip, Jon Yardley, and possibly John Coombes.


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  2. Hi Richard,

    Newton village is just north of Rugby, and the patch encompasses the small pool, surrounding horse/cattle fields, a stretch of the River Avon and Clifton Lakes Fishery. Site total since I began in May last year is 109 (108 seen by me, locals saw Ospreys last year!!), highlights include Ring Ouzel, Sum Plum Black-tailed Godwit, Ruff, Greenshank, Redstart and Caspian Gull, and I only watch it a few hours a week! No one else watches it as far as I know so I dread to think what is around when I cannot make it down there!

    I follow your blog closely as I reckon/hope I can achieve a similar year list total to you if I put in the effort! Twitches keep pulling me away though, being 24 and keen on rares has its draw backs!

    Unfortunately no longer taking part in the race as it turns out May 9th is my Girlfriends birthday!!

    Good luck!

  3. Hi Matt

    Sorry you can't make the 9th. Maybe next year we'll avoid that date. Pleased to hear you read my blog. We seem to have similar patches.

    You may get two replies from me because I have just written one but I'm not sure it will get to you.

    The gist was that if you ever blog about your patch I will certainly read it.

    All the best