Friday, 20 August 2010

A Penney for Your Thoughts

Before leaving Andy Lindsay's house, for what would be a record long journey time from Melbourne, Derbyshire to Towcester (pronounced Toaster) Northants, we rescued this Emporor Dragonfly from one of his sash windows. Yes, I got lost again but only for what seemed like an eternity, but on arrival my Oil Rig mate Dave Penney was waiting with a welcome cup of coffee. He seems to have lost none of his enthusiasm for 'birding' as before I'd even reached the grounds (coffee that is) I was wisked off to the first of his local 'patches'.

Storton Gravel Pits is just a 20 minute drive from Dave's house, and while there was plenty to see it was common and routine stuff.
This distant Kingfisher was however a 'year tick' for Dave and a 'hat trick' for me in as many days.

The Northampton Tower, as it is known, dominates the whole scene but as a 'listed building' has to be preserved. It was built originally as a 'test-bed' for elevators and opened by HM the Queen in 1982 for the Express Lifts Company.

With 23 species under our belt, we quickly moved on to Pitsford Reservoir Nature Reserve where we found a little more to interest us.

Pitsford looking north

and east.

We soon found, or were put on to by other birders, c4 Green Sandpiper (background) and c2 Common Sandpiper.

There were also c2 Greenshank

with these 2 images being of the same bird.

There were said to be 6 Red-crested Pochard on the reserve but we only found these c4, which were a 'year tick' for both of us, if you count that sort of thing?

One of the highlights was a colony of at least 30 Tree Sparrows which responded very well to a

a little 'pishing' (human calling) which also brought a Chaffinch and a Lesser Whitethroat to our attention. Another addition to the 'year list' for me.

There was also a most welcome Wood Sandpiper, which unfortunately was keeping its distance, but added to both 'year lists' and Dave's 'county list' as was the Whitethroat. We left for home with a grand total of 50 species, so Dave, his wife Jan and I are now off out for a pint and a steak so see you tomorrow, when I predict any posting will be late due to family commitments and even later if I loose my way home AGAIN!

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