no this post isnt about love for all those soppy people out there.this is about my friend andys first visit to upton warren,and god did it leave him well impressed.he now knows wy i love the place so much,showed him every hide over the visit being in each hide from 30 mins-3 hours depending on what was happening.went for the east hide at the moors first as he is always gloping over the fact he never see's large flocks of lapwing.it took him a bit to adapt to these new surroundings(at first he found it difficult to pick out anything).nothing but 2 buzzard,a whitethroat and a jay on the north moors at the east hide i asked whether the black tern was still around. they said it was on the railing infront of the concrete hide.he found it hard to pick up on the railings on the far side of the lake but seen it through my scope.after noting a common sandpiper we headed to the concrete hide.from here we had a few flypasts from the black tern but couldent pick up much else.the west hide had more to offer,with the feeders now back in use my andy started clicking away at the birds,a kingfisher briefly landed on the water gage:
but flew off soon after,it was then followed by 2 other kingfishers,so there were 3,nice.at the bottom of the reeds near the muddy area i saw the arse end of a water rail running for cover.i quickly called it and that was then a lifer for andy,one which for a long time i have said to him,if you don't see or hear a water rail your unlucky.loads of willow warblers were around the feeders too with a total of 7 along the west path and from the feeder hide and 2 chiffchaff,the feeder birds were momentarilly sent into blind panic as a male sparrowhalk swooped through but missed everything.highlight here were:
1 peregrine(viewed through scope on masts from east hide)
1 water rail
1 common sand
1 black tern
7 willow warbler
2 reed bunting.
but all the exitement came from the flashes. i was pointing out all the so called 'common' waders to andy whie he was reminding me a lot were lifers.take green sands now i have seen hundreds but for andy these were lifers.it just shows no matter how many times ive seen them someone else will need them..at 6:50 pm the flashes started to liven up a shout of a golden plover got me onto the arse end of a GP as it dived behind cover in the flash.a few birders went out to see if it was visible from the gap in the bush along the path(and to check it wasent either of the rarer species).one of the birders came back in and said 'nothin to get exited about' while again andy reminded me it was yet another lifer for him.now it was just for the sabine's gull.after yet another day of negative news the previous night i didnt want to get his hopes up.we spent a lot of time switching things.i used his camera while he used my scope etc.the GP posed beautifully for the camera.that was untill this b*****d tried to have him for his tea:(look out it's behind you)
luckily the golden plover got away and decided to land right in front of the hide,giving the best views of GP i have ever had,although it did look a bit wary,but eventually settled down and spent the night feeding.
a few pics for the flashes:
other birders came and left eventually leaving just andy warr,andy,my dad and me in the hide after all the others drained hope of the sabine's comming into roost.
at 7:55 a call from my dad of a gull with a black head,after a few schetchy details me and andy warr were onto the SABINE'S GULL yet again.andy(my friend andy) was a bit ferantic asking where it was as he couldent pick it up.i got up aimed my scope at it and said 'look through there'.he took a peak and grabbed for his camera and tried to take some shots now knowing where the bird was.all the images came out all grainy and horrible but yo can tell its of a sabine's.i txt the news out to brian stretch and recieved one on the golden plover asking if i'd seen it,i simply said 'yes'.andy warr called a few people saying the sabine's was back at the flashes.what a way for upton to show how good it is,a few scarce birds,some commons and a mega(well in my terms,not like the tufted puffin in kent) highlights here are:
1 GOLDEN PLOVER
7 green sand
2 common sand
1 SABINE'S GULL
1 BLACK TERN
20c stock dove
1 cetti's warbler
andy got 7 lifers today (i think) but it will be some time before he can catch up with me.wink,wink