After working yesterday I had today off and decided to get back out birding for a little while. First port of call was the usual Whitemoor Haye and a I started with a walk around the lanes. Birds noted were Swallow, Wood Pigeon, Dunnock, Black-headed Gull, Swift, Carrion Crow, Goldfinch, Jackdaw, Common Whitethroat, Linnet, Reed Bunting, Yellowhammer, Stock Dove, Rook, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Corn Bunting, Greenfinch, kestrel, Blue Tit, Great Tit, magpie, Tree Sparrow, Blackbird, Skylark, Wren, Chaffinch and a singing Quail. Then on to the quarry pool. Unfortunately the weather had warmed up so there was a heat haze and the sun was reflecting off the water so I only added Mute Swan, Starling, Pied Wagtail, and Lapwing.
19-7-10, Fradley Pool.
I still had the Franklins Gull in my head. Annoyed that I had missed such a decent bird so close, all for beer. I headed for a new place to bird, well nearly new, I think I have had a look around here once before. I met up with a couple of birders the other evening and just before I did I was talking to myself (as usual) and thinking about finding a new place for a common patch. Whitemoor is brilliant but I fancied another site. I was talking to a few chaps and this pool came up. It is situated on the edge of the old Fradley Estate, now near the shops. They said they had seen some good stuff recently and might be worth keeping an eye on although there are plans for it to be filled in. Anyway birds noted were Goldfinch, Canada Geese, Mute Swan, House Martin, Greenfinch, Coot, Mallard, Blackbird, Wood Pigeon, Swallow, Moorhen, Sedge Warbler, Blue Tit and Swift. Ok not the greatest list but it has potential. There was also lots of insects, dragonflies and butterflies around, plus large areas of waste land which could produce something. Will be well worth keeping an eye on I think.
19-7-10, Whitemoor Haye, pm.
With no sign of any Franklins Gull on the internet or pager I decided to have another look around Whitemoor, in particular, park on the rough bend and have a look for the Quail. My plan was to sit about and listen and track them and you never know what might happen. this sounded good until I got to the bend and a good 50 metres of crop had been combined. Disaster. Had the birds gone? It wasn't looking good. Ten minutes past with no hint of any Quail. I then walked up the track to a small wooden fence and within seconds came the unmistakable call of the Quail. It was not far away and was quite vocal. I started waling back to the bend and the bird seemed to be heading in the same direction, unless there was more than one bird. I sat near the bend and listened to the bird for about fifteen minutes but with no sighting I was soon on my way. Other birds noted were Carrion Crow, Wood Pigeon, Yellowhammer, Swallow, Black-headed Gull, Canada Geese, Corn Bunting, Blackbird, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Dunnock, Skylark, Buzzard, Stock Dove, Jackdaw and Greenfinch. From here it was onto the quarry pool and much better conditions to scan the shoreline. It was pretty quiet, no very quiet. Birds noted were Lapwing, Mallard and a distant Kestrel.
On the pool there was a building flock of gulls, about two hundred by 20.20 and rising. I was thinking of putting a call out to any birders who can ID a Franklins Gull as you never know. But I do now as when I got home I looked on Birdguides and irt was showing at Chasewater. Aarrrrrgggggggghhhhhhhhhh. Nothing from Birdnet!!!!! Gutted.
I was talking to a couple of birders and I mentioned that Quail would be a lifer if I saw it. they mentioned that Quail does come with tape luring but the easiest way is listen for the bird and when it is near charge at it and hopefully it will fly. I remember a couple of years ago when I saw the Great Snipe on Lindisfarne. There was an organised sweep to flush the bird. Yep we saw it, yep it was id'd as a Great Snipe but I did not get the same feeling about this lifer as I do with others. And I think the same could be said with the Quail. I would rather see the bird doing something natural than run at it and scaring the crap out of it. If I dont get to see one then thats life but I wont stop trying.