Friday, 28 September 2012


Ended up not working on Weds the 26th Sept - this turned out to be the first of several pieces of good fortune on a memorable day!!

Out on the patch from first light but not much moving and a grounded Dunlin was hardly the business! persevered, counting the small numbers of viz-migs until the rain set in and I headed for shelter by the main lake with IB. The rain passed quickly but nothing on or over the water so we opted for hunting down a YBW, or more realistically a few chiffs! Heading round the back of the reserve wood I suddenly picked up a  big raptor heading S - finally it had happened !! An OSPREY !! Not the best views as it went behind the woods and away but still GET IN!! 9.25am was the time if anyone cares! Patch tick heaven!

Phoned Wintersett to alert them and then basked in the relief a bit and wandered back round the bushes and woods towards the E end of the Main Lake. Sat scanning from here and chatting when at 10.10 i scanned N and picked OSPREY!! WTF !! At first just thought it was the same bird but was it really ? It headed straight through S and I again phoned Wintersett but they were more excited after just having a bloody Rough-Leg go NE!! Greedy or what!

Slightly dazed now things got really crazy when at 10.45 IB picked up another OSPREY circling lazily north of the wetlands and slowly drifting SW towards the motorway!! Was this really happening!?? More phone calls and general excitement ( interrupted by a Brambling !) were brought to a halt by the sound of the Mega-Alert going off...PG TIPS in Hartlepool ! F%$K !!

So, I'm in the motor heading N, worried about flood delays and generally preparing to dip. Surely it wont be viewable? It wont be seen again i bet! etc etc.

Arrive on site and find loads of cover and little action - i was right so decide some birding in order, quickly picking up Redstarts, Pied Fly and several Wheatear. Mega-Alert again, PG TIPS trapped Whitburn!! I am by the car and can see locals running for theirs so it must be do-able in time! Ive not had my car long so it was its first ' WACKY RACES' experience and it did well as I shot into the car park and was told to dump the car and run! This I did and a good job too as I rounded the mound and had a bins full of the beast in the hand with seconds to spare! Pretty ace view of the release with tail and rump action and a massive blast of excitement and relief!

Not my picture sadly as i did not get chance!
Really never expected to get one of these bad-boys, certainly not away from Shetland so a real bonus but felt for several late arrivals who narrowly missed out - painful!

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