When is it that you know birding cant get any better?
When you get a patch first of cause, and not just a poxy little, 'i should have seen one here, but ive never really caught up with them tick', no i mean a fully blown WTF is that doing here tick!
As regualr readers of the blog will know, my last moment of that was when i found the 2nd winter drk Smew on the river, and the other a week before that with a Whooper swan, However, patch birding can be Dry and stail most of the time, but just once in a while, you find something special.
Got out quite early on the patch, walking upriver at 7:30 to try and get some videos of the Mandarins and Goosanders, slowly working my way up with a trickling stream of both MEADOW PIPIT 'seeping' and SKYLARK 'rippling' over.
On a plowed field there was 10c Lapwing (most were hidden behind bushes) and Many Pied wagtails were flying over, suddenly a flcok of 40c Swallow appeared, but immidiatly headed south in the fine conditions.
I has worked my way up to the riverside field at 7:56
It was at this point i heard a strage call, one that i couldnt recognise, i spun around to see a wader flying in low over the fields, head on, i couldnt put a name to it, but it allighted
and pitched down in a shallow ditch in the field i was standing adjacent to.
A juvenile RUFF!
I didnt know what to do, pick up my phone and tell someone, get my scope up and take a video, or continue looking through my bins, well i didnt have to choose, because the bird chose for me, and after no longer than 10 seconds it took flight and flew off climbing rapidly as it went.
Looking back on the time, i proberbly didnt hear the ruff call,(which is what i said when i passed on the news) because im under the impression they dont call much (if at all)??
But i believe that what i may have been hearing was another wader, a Snipe (which i had also never knowingly heard calling, but i did see one on the riverside fields just after the Ruff), so at least im better at IDing a bird than by calls,
The thing is, if i didnt hear that call, would i have seen the RUFF?, because at the time i was scanning hedges, maybe just abit of good luck that got me onto the bird.
But who knows,
The rest of the walk was tainted by the fact that i didnt even get a photo of this patch first, and i spent a fair bit moaping,
When i finally arrived at Blackstone, i quickly found 2 Female type MANDARIN, of which i got a video, but not the Drk i was after.
And the 2 GOOSANDER were still at Blackstone, an adult female (our summering bird) and a juv bird.
3 KINGFISHER were fishing in the river, as well as 100's of fishermen