Friday, 3 November 2017

Wednesday 1st November

I made an early morning trip to Hartshill Hayes for a spot of VisMig, I have done reasonably well for birds including Hawfinch on the Fillongley Ridge but Hartshill has proved to be the premier Warwickshire site for Hawfinch and VisMig in general.

It occupies a commanding view over the Leicestershire countryside with a glorious vista taking in a large area. I was a little late and there were already three birders present on my arrival. Two Hawfinch had been seen earlier by John Harris and there was a steady stream of birds passing overhead.

A few birders joined us at various points and we attracted the interest of the local dog walkers keen to know what we were up to. It was quite late on when I just happened to glance behind picking up three birds dropping into the treeline, a quick look confirmed they were Hawfinch but by the time I had sputtered out HAWFINCH they had dropped down. We scanned the trees and Steve Haynes located one sat in the tree tops, it was only there for c.20 seconds but long enough for everyone to get on it.

In the afternoon I received a call from Steve Haynes to say he had found a Lesser Yellowlegs on a private site he has access too. He had been given permission to invite a handful of birders, fortunately I was one of the handful. I arrived with a boot full of shopping and enjoyed good views of the bird though it was about as far away as it could be.

Thursday morning saw me up early on the Fillongley Ridge, when I arrived there was very little wind and it seemed quiet, I gave it an hour but there was very little movement. In the afternoon Steve had arranged access for birders with the landowner, for a small fee which was to go towards conservation at the site. I offered to help with the parking arrangements. On arrival an old friend who I haven’t seen for nearly ten years was there so me managed to have a bit of a catchup.

There was a steady stream of birders and over £100 was raised, we even had a visit from birding Royalty with Lee Evens arriving at c.3.00pm he didn’t stay long as he wanted to get to Rutland Water for a Cory’s Shearwater. I recon he had around 90 minutes to get there, I thought he had no chance, but apparently he made it.

Steve has received some stick in some quarters about inviting friends to view the bird on Wednesday. Comments were made that I think were below the belt, there really are some people out there full of there own self-importance.

Unfortunately a local birder broke the news of the bird before Steve had a chance to arrange access which wasn’t helpful. Access was arranged for Thursday afternoon so birders in general could enjoy the bird. Steve was there at first light to make sure the bird was present and I went down myself to help with parking. Everyone that came seemed to enjoy the bird and everyone left happy.

Somehow I even got involved in an argument on the internet with a birder who was critical of how Steve handled the situation, seems he doesn’t like criticism himself.  I don’t know him and don’t wish to know him, I find it strange that a lot of the people have forceful opinions and say things they would never say face-to-face. I think until they find themselves in the position as Steve they wouldn't know how they would react, I certain would want my friends to enjoy the bird. Maybe they should keep there opinions to themselves.

This person called me Obnoxious and Ill-educated, it seems he knows me!

I haven’t been called Obnoxious since we used to play the rich kids at football! As for Ill-educated I’ve made the best of what I’ve got.

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