Monday, 3 October 2016

Yellow Browed Warbler flees Putin's Russia for life in Elyshire. Are you listening Jeremy Corbyn

Slam-dunking into the Ely Top Ten, it's Yellow-browed and all the way from Russia. Its been expected for a while but I didn't expect to see it on my doorstep. The force was strong yesterday, and something told me to get out into the country instead of sitting down to watch the 1968 classic,The Charge of the Light Brigade featuring Mr Devere from To the Manor born. I could feel the presence of a yellow-browed Warbler nearby somewhere- there were already a couple in the county so one must turn up for me to find. Thistle corner would be a great place for one, but nothing special ever turns up there- Mepal perhaps? Stutton Gault even? No- Roswell Pits- thats the place. I'd left my phone at Rich's house the other day, but I knew he was going out.... I'll see if he's back. reaching his house moments before him, I did't have to wait too long to hear that he had got the force too- a Little Bunting found on the coast. Nice. Spurs also had the force and were giving Man City a lesson, but there's no time for that- I've got to get out there and find me a 'brow. 
Roswell shone in the warmth of an calm October, and signs were good. A few Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests spiriting through the trees as I wandered past the square pit, around the sewage farm and along the water meadow hedgerow. A small gang of long-tailed Tits bounced along at the end of the hedge near the rowing club, and a Chiffchaff chased with them.
Then the phone rang, and instead of quietly sounding off in Rich's cupboard, it reverberated through my pocket, and I answered.
It was Dunc.
It had happened.
It was at Thistle Corner.
Mark had found it and he wasn't even looking for it, he was hunting hoverflies. yes Mark that is
disdain in my voice. Hoverflies. they're not even birds.
In a flash I was there, and it called from inside the canopy of an Ash tree. Dunc and Rich soon joined me, and together we strained our birding wits, getting mere glimpses of this unusually shy thing. The sun disappeared without the bird showing itself to my satisfaction- but at least it would only be a five minute stroll the next morning to see if it was still about.
It was, and after a brief period of frenetic activity it took to its earlier sheepishness. With the luxury of being able to pop back home for lunch without the usual hour long car journey from the coast normally associated with rarity watching, I came back for an afternoon watch. It infuriated again- just the odd call and obscured and brief views. hoverflies everywhere. probably rare ones- I wouldn't know.

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