Thursday, 23 January 2014

A wizard bird!

Bumbled off to check out the Yellow-browed Warbler site in Alphington today. I visited the nursing home (no, I'm not quite that old just yet!) but due to the very windy conditions the bird did not show. In fact I would imagine that the bird would only occasionally visit this site due to the sparse cover it afforded. Probably best on a sunny still day (no chance!). I spent a little time there in the car park, but realised I stood very little chance of seeing the bird. I zipped down to Exminster Marshes hoping to connect with a Year tick and thus keep up my record of at least one Year tick per day during January. I was expecting to see a Peregrine if anything to be honest, but none showed. Nick Potter appeared on the scene and after a brief word moved off down the lane. I scanned the marsh, with the usual birds being on show. A flock of 100 Golden Plover wheeled around in the sky. Likewise, five Common Snipe flew past. A Great Spotted Woodpecker called in the trees nearby. A male Stonechat perched on a fencepost no further than 10 feet away from where I was stood. I spotted a swift shape darting by. Yes, it was a male Merlin, and luckily Nick got on to the bird as well as he reappeared along the lane. With that scintillating 'wizard' Year tick obtained, it was time to get back to work!

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