Sunday, 15 August 2010

I Spotted a Crake

I was overjoyed to be greeted with a message of a Spotted Crake when I returned home from Church this morning. It was Mark N who informed me that it had been seen at Shibdon Pond, I had never been before and had no idea where it was but soon found out. After dinner and catching the house rabbit (don’t ask) I got in Foghorn’s birding transport and went up to Shibdon Pond. When I arrived I parked in the local swimming baths car park and met Paul H, he kindly informed me of where to go to go and see the bird. I ofcourse followed directions and arrived at where I should be to find loads of birders walking away from the hide. I asked where the hide was so I could get there a.s.a.p and I was told and headed in the direction. When I arrived two mates of mine where leaving and asked if I had a key as they had just locked up, I informed them I didn’t and they opened the hide and told us where it was. This was when I met local Northumberland birder Gordon who was also in the hide with me. Set up my scope and I quickly got onto the bird and it quickly bolted away up the gully. My two mates quickly departed and said to stay until some people arrived who had keys so they could lock the hide. When looking for the bird Gordon was hot on his ID and ID’d me as Andrew Kinghorn and introduced himself, I didn’t know it was him until he said. Nice to meet you Gordon!

We waited a while with no sign and then I saw a bird creeping out of the gully it bolted into. It revealed itself and we got cracking views it was of course the Spotted Crake closely followed by a juv Water Rail! How’s that for a comparison! It bolted out of view a few times but generally speaking we had cracking views of this elusive species. I left a very happy man!

I thought I would pop into Houghton Gate for a brief stint, I wish! Not even a wader on the pool let alone a vagrant stint to the site. I was just coming away when I looked down the road and noticed someone with a scope looking at me through their bins. I looked at them and noticed it was Steve Evans (Cut’n A Long Story Short), he had seen me looking so I couldn’t bolt away like the Crake could. He asked me if I had seen much and I had informed Steve that there wasn’t a thing. Until he raised his bins and located a Whinchat sitting on some thistles. Typical!

We had cracking views and we went into photographers mode with out phones up against out eyepieces. We got some terrible shots but they are only meant to be record shots so really: Their awesome! Nice to bump into Steve again as I hadn’t seen him in ages, perhaps a good few months.

(Whinchat - Houghton Gate - Andrew Kinghorn)

Life List update:
258 - Spotted Crake

Year List update:
228 - Spotted Crake

Until next time, Foghorn out!

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