Monday, April 8, 2013

A bit of a twitch!

Earlier this year I drove over to Beeley Moor in Derbyshire to look for a Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor that had been frequenting an old quarry for a couple of weeks. Needless to say I didn't locate the bird even though we put in a couple of hours searching. It was still there yesterday so this morning I fancied having another go even though it promised to be bitterly cold up on't' moors with an easterly wind howling in from Moscow. I expected a similar search and seek mission to the last visit and I was resigned to getting frozen and possibly not seeing the bird. As we approached the site my wife and I had the following conversation. "Are you going to park just here on the right?" "Yes, this is where I parked last time." "Good...'cus there's the Shrike by the gate." "!?!!*" Birding's like that! Ten minutes later it had flown off and despite searching could not be relocated. It might never have been there.

Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor Beeley Moor, Derbyshire
Whilst searching for the Shrike an Osprey flew directly overhead heading north. This was a bonus bird but hardly a surprise when you take into account all of the reservoirs that can be found in this area - along with the time of year.

Osprey Pandion haliaetus
That the idea of reservoirs popped into mind due to the Osprey then had us heading a little further south to try for one of the four reported Great Northern Divers at Carsington Water. Here we heard and saw our first Chiffchaffs of the year - 4 in total in a thirty minute spell. Hardly a record but nice to hear after all of the cold, snow, wind and stuff of the last few months. The divers were proving to be particularly difficult to locate but a couple of Redshank in full breeding kit were pretty obliging.
Redshank Tringa tetanus Carsington Water Derbyshire
 We eventually located just a single Great Northern Diver some distance away on the far edge of the reservoir. It was too far away to photograph and it was not that convincing a bird. Had I not known that it was probably one of the four that has been reported on and off for a month or two I would have seriously considered this one to be Black-throated. This picture is of a bird I photographed earlier.
Juvenile Great Northern Diver Gavia immer
Not a day to be remembered for migrants piling into the area but Great Grey Shrike, Osprey and Great Northern Diver just an hour away made it a bit of a twitch worth doing.

1 comment:

  1. wow, the great grey shrike was a great spot. I may have to pop over to Beeley soon in the hope I might spot it too! I was at Carsington earlier today but didn't spot the diver, though 4 were reported on the sightings board for today.