Thursday 20 May 2010

Cracking Corncrakes in Cambs

"I'm sure it's just there, in front of us. Why can't I see it? Arrgghh!"

Last night myself, Hawky, Bradders Jnr, dirty year lister Jono Lethbridge and Paul Whiteman headed up the A1 to the not so secret site in Cambridgeshire for Corncrake. Within minutes of arriving on site we had one bird calling at what seemed no more than yards in front of us. Despite extensive scanning (see above) of the field in front of us, and the repeated calling of bird, and other birds calling more distantly behind us, no birds could be located.

Venturing from the car park we located numerous other calling birds including one, that we staked out that sounded as it is was just yards away. If you have never heard a Corncrake call it is amazing how loud they are, the ground almost shook each time this individual called. Quietly we waited and waited until our perseverance paid off and we were treated to a good flight view from long grass in front of us to an adjacent field. Life tick (#368) and high fives all round. We had hoped to hear one, we ended up with seven, but seeing one was special and lucky!

We made the brief detour to the RSPB Ouse Washes in the pitch black, dead of night for singing Spotted Crake. At least one individual was heard, possibly two, from the car as a pair of Tawny Owls called behind us with brief flight views had of one.

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