Saturday, 14 November 2015

Crooked Spires and Crag Martins: Chesterfield 11 and 14 November

Saturday 14th.  This time it was John King's turn to drive as we returned to Chesterfield. Neither of us were very confident after Wednesday's non-appearance but going and missing it seemed a lesser evil than not going and it being seen.  We arrived at 07:30, stood around looking at the crooked spire and chatting to friends amongst the 200+ birders present (Andy Clements, Paul Noakes, Nick and Russell Gardner, Steve Smith, Steve and Richard Webb),  some I had not seen in years. At about 10:45, and long after most of us had given up, the bird suddenly appeared over the church and proceeded to shoot around at high speed pretty much continually until 12:00 when it disappeared.  We waited 20 minutes but it had not returned by the time the rain came in from the south.  We headed home, the M1 and M25 being unpleasant with lots of spray despite light to moderate traffic.  Another two Pink-footed Goose flocks flew South, about 90 and 30, and we saw Peregrine and Grey Wagtail while waiting.It had definitely been worth going back.
back again, spire still standing ...

09:45, still no sign


Pink-footed Geese over Chesterfield


Crag Martin or dirt on the lens?
some hummingbirds have slower wingbeats!



the rarest bird I've seen at a national landmark?
not such a bad place after all!
Friday 13th.  My dad's 91st birthday.  Happy Birthday Dad.  The Crag Martin was back in Chesterfield for most of the day.

Thursday 12th.  Megan and I walked along Worthing seafront to goring Gap where there were at least 5 adult Mediterranean Gulls, 39 Sanderling, 14 grey Plover and a Knot.  Later nothing of note could be found amongst 2000+ gulls on the Adur at dusk although a Greenshank was seen as the light faded.


Grey Plover and Knot at Goring Gap
mainly Sanderling at Goring Gap
spot the Mediterranean Gull at Goring Gap
three adults in these two images
gulls on the Adur, spot then interesting one (I couldn't)
Greenshank on the Adur at dusk
Wednesday 11th.  With the Chesterfield Crag Martin showing for most of the day on Tuesday and not working on Wednesdays it seemed worth trying for.  I was really confident when I left home at 03:30, picked up John King in Burgess Hill at 04:00 and we were on site, via M25 and M1, by 07:40.  A tense wait then ensued with about 100 others.  Matt and Mick were there too, the latter certainly enjoying life as a Norfolk resident.  Usually the Crag Martin had appeared by 08:30, all but once by 09:00 so by then by confidence in seeing it had all but drained away.  We waited until 12:15 but there was no sign of it at all.  While standing in the car park we saw two flocks of Pink-footed Geese (c600 and c100) flying South, Peregrine, Sparrowhawk and Mistle Thrush and heard Grey Wagtail.  With little prospect of the Crag Martin appearing, at least based on previous showings, we headed home hoping to be clear of the M25 by the time traffic built up.  We were successful in that at least.
07:40, arrival at the crooked spire
08:00, earliest time the Crag Martin had appeared/novelty of the spire rapidly wearing off
09:55, still no sign
11:55, spire still standing ...
Sunday 8th.   Megan and I walked around Mill Hill where a pair of Bullfinches were the only birds of note.  Later I visited the Adur seeing the first-winter Caspian Gull and Kingfisher again.  I saw the gull when I arrived just after 15:00 but it disappeared before I could obtain any decent images of it, another observer seeing it flying SW at about 15:10.  It did not return, neither could I see any colour-ringed gulls.


not so obvious from this angle

No comments:

Post a Comment