3 April 2011

Stay Local & Score!

Friday Night razzled graffiti

Unusual Behaviour Warning - Extreme LACK (Yes, LACK) of swearing & abuse in this post. Please close this page NOW if this is likely to offend.

Saturday 2nd April - Rising from my chambers much later than I had wanted (due to a night on the razz Friday evening), my plans to head to Tolkien County for that Dotted Crake were quickly abolished. Instead I carefully drove the short distance to Ogston Res' as it appeared that an Osprey that had been seen early morning was still loitering.
Upon arrival, Steve Mann informed me that there had in fact been three separate birds thru during the morning and I'd just missed the most recent! I gave it a good hour & half but it seemed that the Osprey passage had abated and I settled for a few consolation bits - Four LRPs, two Ringed Plovers, a shed load of Hirundines of all three flavours, three Buzzards, a singing Blackcap and three Goldeneyes.
Feeling slightly outcast by the 'resident' birdspotters I slithered away, literally unnoticed (they'd stealthly shuffled further away anyway and had polarised into a small huddle discussing the next NEW bird for Ogy, their favoured denture glue and the trouble they have satisfying their wives - I was gonna offer my services on the latter subject but quickly thought better of it, Derbyshire tarts ain't that aesthetically appealing, no matter what they say about them getting better with age!).
Anyhow, it later transpired that I shouldn't have been so petulant & not pissed off early as two more Ospreys passed thru during the afternoon!

Sunday 3rd April - Early doors at Clumber saw myself and Mikipedia belatedly searching for Hawfinches with no success. A snazzy drake Mandarin was sailing around near The Ornamental Bridge and a drumming Lesser Spotted Woodpecker showed it's tits off as it posed in the morning sun. Our first Willow Warbler of the year was heard as we left Clumber en route for the customary 'Golden Arches Breakfast'.

Misty morning view at Clumber Park

Our next birding destination was Budby Common where our target bird was swiftly bagged - at least two were 'Tululuing' from trees at 'The Triangle'. A singing male Stonechat was also seen here along with a very early, transient, singing Cuckoo. Chiffchaffs & Willow Warblers were aurally conspicuous and up to 7 Buzzards were bouncing around on the thermals. A pager message regarding an Osprey (yes, here we go again) at the nearby Pumping Station had us doing some fast walking to a strategic vantage point in order to hopefully connect. After c15 minutes and no sign, we were about to do one when I picked up a nice looking blob to the west of the Pumping Station. Boom! I get a self found Osprey and Mike bags himself an overdue Notts tick! A 'wheezing' 'Bling belted over heading NE as we turned to leave.

'Our' Osprey over Budby Flash (thanks to John Colclough for allowing me to use his excellent image of todays bird)

Our next stop was Budby Pumping Station Flash where we were lucky enough to meet local stalwarts John Colclough & Dave Morton. JC informed us that there HAD been two Ospreys, one which lingered before heading east at 8.40am and the bird we had independently witnessed at 9.25am. In the next 90 minutes we notched up an impressive tally of bits at this excellent little patch including an early Whimbrel east at 10am, 2 LRPs, Green Sand', 2 Oykes, 12+ Buzzards, 2 Sprawks, 2 Shelducks, 3 Tree Sparrow, Marsh Tit and all three varieties of Hirundine.

Shite mobile phone image of a Green Sand - also known as a Pec by some of the less Kool kidz who frequent BPS Flash!

Our final destination was the Raptor Watchpoint at Welbeck but sadly heat-haze stumped our hopes of snaring a 'BIG' Sparrowhawk thing, although up to 20 Buzzards in the air was ok, I guess. All in all a bloody good day out in the Premier Midlands Birdin' County.........................

(below) Mike utilises a NASA Kowa and asks ''Is that Crake still in Warks????''

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