Friday, April 16, 2004

Spotshank and Wheateater, and rediscovery of Sparklehorse

It's been an interesting day. It didn't start promisingly, since the Ring Ouzel wasn't seen again after the early morning. But we had a phone call from Will Bowell mid-morning to say that Josh Jones had found a nearly summer-plumaged Spotted Redshank at the bizarrely-named Grummit's Scrape.

Managed to get out at lunchtime (first piece of lunchtime twitching since passing driving test). When Dr Weedon and I turned up, there was not a lot to be seen, and certainly no Spotshank. We were despondent and on the verge of leaving the hide when we heard a 'chewit!' Soon enough, the dusky beauty popped out from the edge of the scrape and it showed fairly well until we left.

I took some hasty pics but they're abysmal. If you want to see them, click here and here. But Josh's are much better.

After work I went down to Ferry Meadows, since it was such a nice evening. Had a wander around the scrubby parts of Coney Meadow, where I attempted to digiscope singing Willow Warblers. I had a couple of near-misses: click here to see one. The WWs were fantastic. It seemed like there was one singing from the top of nearly every hawthorn bush. Of course, they all dived for cover as soon as I thought I could get a picture of them...

As I walked out of the scrub towards Lynch Lake, I glimpsed something on top of a post, which turned into a smart male Wheatear. He vanished initially, until I rediscovered him lurking by the narrow-gauge railway. I got a half-decent photo (after some sharpening). Unfortunately, digiscoping was curtailed because of some chav wantonly kicking a football between me and the bird, flushing it. Oh well...

I'd forgotten how much I love Sparklehorse. Highly recommended.

What's in my CD player: Distorted Ghost EP - Sparklehorse