Friday, 28 August 2009

On Patch Musings And Off Patch Twitching

I have a soft spot for Crakes, I always have and always will. So, with the patch being fairly quiet, I just had to make the trip in to Somerset this afternoon to see the Spotted Crake that has been showing at Greylake RSPB. Dad joined me for this cross-county twitch.

I was surprised as to where the Spotted Crake was hanging out. Bearing in mind what the Somerset Levels is, miles and miles of reeds and marsh, this Spotted Crake has chosen to feed round the edge of this pond...

And it is just a pond!

Well did we see the Spotted Crake? Oh yes! We got superb views of it, for at least 50 minutes, only my second in the UK. It spent most of the time feeding, a lot like this....

Am well pleased with this vid - despite the reduction in quality due to upload

And here's a few pics...

The Spotted Crake feeding - stunning bird!

This wasn't all it did though; it spent some time preening, five minutes of which whilst perched on top of a clump of reeds....

A Spotted Crake or a Spotted Chicken?

Earlier in the day, and back on patch, I chalked up a couple of 'firsts for the autumn'. A Bar-tailed Godwit on the estuary and a smart adult White Wagtail on Blackhole Marsh. Other bits and bobs at Blackhole included a Lapwing, 9 Ringed Plover, 22 Dunlin, 2 Wood Sands, 1 Green Sand, 5 Common Sands, 9 Teal and a Yellow Wagtail. On the estuary, as well as the Barwit, there were singles of Blackwit, Whimbrel and Greenshank and another four Common Sands.

I had the moth trap out last night, but the wind ensured it was a small catch. The highlight of the 69 moths of 19 species caught was my second Old Lady. No new species for the garden though : (

A bit of late news in this post too, though it ain't much! The day after the Alpine Swift I went down to Colyford for an hour and half just after first light. There was no sign of the Swift, but eight Green Sands dropped in onto Colyford Marsh - the most I've seen for a while.

I see dipping the Swift has encouraged Gav to do some tactical 'lumping' of species to try and give him a boost. Fea's/Zino's, now that's a tick.... but large Shearwater sp., you wouldn't find that on my list - I only count identified birds!! Mind you, if I find myself lagging behind near the end of the year, I've got a few 'either/ors' I can reveal and claim...

I need a good night's sleep now... September is just round the corner, and there ain't no time for sleep in September!!

1 comment:

  1. Like it! 'Tactical lumping' is an EXCELLENT term, which I will have to borrow extensively! Nice one, Steve! :o)