Sunday, 6 September 2009

No Crake just a few more Waders

Don't Panic I Haven't Seen It

As an act of compensatory factor, here are a couple of images of the April 2008 Devon bird.

The news arrived as darkness fell last evening, of a Little Crake sighted in the main north/south channel just north of the Radipole Visitor's Center. Gloomy enough to deter an immediate visit, it was an early turn this morning to find no more than a dozen 'birders' searching for this extremely rare county visitor. I was expecting a cast of thousands, as according to Green (The Birds of Dorset) apart from records prior to 1888 there have only been c2 in recent times, so this has been a 'blocker' even for some of the counties more eminent listers. Despite the hour and a 4 hour vigil nothing was seen, or heard, of the critter, however, it's a dull day when 'nothing' is seen so accordingly Swift, Kingfisher, Sparrowhawk, Chiffchaff, Bearded Tit, Cetti's Warbler and Water Rail, to name but a few, went into the log. It was the information (or lack of it) about this find that intrigued me, with no one knowing for sure the 'exact' spot or for that matter the identity of the finder. Amid the conversation on these subjects there were paraphrases such as "freedom of information act" and "divulgence isn't always good for business", and wondered if I was still pursuing the same hobby that my dear old dad introduced me to, 'at this very location' at the age of eight! Still we didn't see it, but I will sure as hell be down there again before the sun sets today, so keep you mobile switched on! Oh, and for some, don't go to the Elm Tree (private joke).

Paul Harris and I stuck it out until 19-30, but still no sign of the Crake.

White-fronted Plover - Paternoster, South Africa

Solitary Sandpiper - Central Park, New York City, USA

A small aside to this particular bird and an accompanying Connecticut Warbler, which were both found by my ex lady-friend Sue Hallam, occurred when a large group of US 'birders' approached us to find out what we had seen. It must have been the English accent that deterred them as Sue reported her finding, causing them all to depart rapidly chuntering disbelief. It was left for those who followed, to see both birds and a small number of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, much to the loss of the doubters. Only the Warbler escaped photography.

Falklands (Common) Snipe - Port Stanley, East Falkland Island

(Far) Eastern Curlew - Cairns Seafront, Queensland, Australia