Friday, 27 April 2012

Friday 27th April

What a good day it was, driving rain cold wind and of course Friday! Managed to clear everything at work and took the afternoon off. After this mornings Hobby and Whitethroat, I thought the afternoon looked promising. Phoned the Captain, he was available – game on. There had been two Arctic Tern (Steve Cawthray) but they had moved on by the time I got there. There were however eleven Common Tern. Walking around the reservoir an Oystercatcher called and disappeared towards Ladywalk, immediately a Common Sandpiper called and flew past. It looked promising! There were good numbers of hirundines and half a dozen Swift. At the far end there were a further three Common Sandpiper and as we walked along the southern hedgerow we had a further three Common Sandpiper there were probably seven – maybe more.

A bird shot up both of us together shouted Yellow Wagtail and it was a stunning bright male. The Captain  picked up a bird skulking in the grass, as we grilled the movement, it shot up and flew 20 yards into a stand of Blackthorn, it was an unmistakable Grasshopper Warbler which to the best my knowledge is a first for Shustoke Reservoir, one I have always thought possible and a day like today was the right conditions. I had a text to say there were four Little Gull at the reservoir, we had been there for quite a while and hadn’t seen any. There were however, four 1st summer Black-headed Gull which can be a trap for the unwary. Anyway we got past the sailing club and had a good search for any Little Gull but none. One of the Black-headed was flying around and it was showing quite a dark underwing. Anyway, there may well have been four Little Gull but we either missed them or they were gone before we got there.

Anyway, I was champing at the bit to go back over tonight but was told in no uncertain terms that I was going shopping – that was me in my place.

Two things before I sign off. Firstly, there will be a break in transmission for a week as I head for Scotland to get the hill walking season off to a flier. I do all the planning and I have a 13 mile walk (1 Munro),  a 18 mile walk (3 Munro’s) and a 25 mile walk (two Munro’s) planned for next week. But then I had planned to get back to the Reservoir tonight!!!

And lastly, to those Villa fans who have asked me if I can have a word with the lads to do them a favour tomorrow. Well if super Roy picks me in goal you might have a chance, but thats not likely, I never go to the Albion expecting anything (44 years a fan has seen to that), but I honestly can’t see anything but an Baggies win. There you go, Villa fans – tempting providence – that is all I can do for you. For the record I hope the Villa stop up, I wish the Wolves had stopped up, no point in local rivals if you can’t play them. Having said that I hope the Blues stop where they are! (sorry Captain - but you saw that Gropper before me).

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