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Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Smarter Birding Experience

I texted Dave my proposed itinerary for today and asked if he fancied joining me....... so at about 6:55 he arrived. There had been a smash on the M25, but it was in the other direction and that way there were big queues. Some debris must have been on our side since we saw 4 cars with double punctures but we sailed serenely on.

At about quarter past eight we parked at Weir Wood Reservoir near East Grinstead. The target bird was sitting in a tree, he was a bit obscured and refused to show well but clearly a Night Heron. There were also at least 3 Snipe, a Green Sandpiper, numerous Grey Herons, a Little Egret, loads of ducks, Great Crested and Little Grebe, a Great Spot and a Common Tern. Oh and a Roe Deer.

Well that was easy! East Grinstead Sainsbury's cafe was a Starbucks. So rather than pay £3.50 for a sandwich we bought from Sainsbury's and ate in the car and planned the next step.

Dave - that was easy, where now ?
Me - we aren't far from Bough Beech Reservoir. We could go see the presumed escape White Pelican.
Dave - looking at map, yeah on way back why not.

With a minor detour (we missed our turn somehow), we arrived at Bough Beech. A few birders were looking at the scrape but we turned to observe how big the Pelican was before giving the scrape our full attention (oh its VERY big, dwarfed the Cormorants).

There were 3 Common Sandpiper, 2 Green Sandpiper, 2 Greenshank (I have a black spot with iding Greenshanks, I keep forgetting about them). It started hammering down so with no cover we were off.

The M25 was clear and we soon arrived at Waltham Abbey and crossed on to Cornhill Dragonfly sanctuary. A few birders happily told us it was "showing well". We arrived at Wake's hide and it was. Two minutes after arriving there it was right in front of the hide a nice Spotted Crake. Very showy. We also had at least 7 Snipe, 4 Green Sandpiper, some baby Moorhens, 2 Greenshank and by way of contrast a Water Rail.

It was now 12 O'clock.

Dave - ok know any good pubs?
Pete - well no not really (I only live here :D ), we could try the Rainbow & Dove near me. Never been but its in the AA good pub guide.

And very nice it was. A very nice Bacon and Brie Baggy with salad and chunky chips. Good pint according to Dave (I was on shandy!). Quaint place and friendly. Another on Dave and my recommended pubs list.

We were unlikely to see anything else so at 1:30 Dave headed home for the Tesco shop. We got the targets easily and had lots of other nice birds a good pub lunch. Scratches head, its not always this easy honest.


KAZ said...

If only I could get up earlier. Birds go to bed before luchtime.
The birds, breakfast, birds, beer sequence sounds great.
What's a scape?

The Quacks of Life said...

whoops scrape! an area of mud with very shallow pools

breakfast and beet bit usually features when dave and I bird.

Anonymous said...

The Deer was Roe, Pete. Checked it up in my Observers Book of British Wildlife (1st Edition) ;-)
Great day out, thanx for driving.

easy birder anon dave...

KAZ said...

I wouldn't have known what a 'scrape' was either. I suppose you had beetroot for breakfast.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a very enjoyable day :)

The Quacks of Life said...

Kaz - Lol, r next to T on keyboard

Nathalie - it was

Dave - ah ta for that I did wonder but..... and thank you for the food.

Anonymous said...


The Quacks of Life said...

not the teensiest bit jealous eh dawny :)

Anonymous said...

Well I was getting only refuge was I'd seen them all plus another Wryneck a couple of days before!!

Talons were crossed for you both...

Eagle aka Sea Eagle aka Eagleseagles aka C

The Quacks of Life said...

well not often we have a better day than you.