Friday, 30 May 2008

Bluethroat (Luscinia Svecica), Rossall School,Cleveleys,Lancashire. 30th May 2008

Having seen and photographed a (white spot) Bluethroat at Aldcliffe near Lancaster on the 8th April, the news of a (red spot) Bluethroat down the road at Cleveleys, certainly whetted the appetite. I wasn't at work, but had no vehicle. I had to wait for Hazel to come home from work before we could set off.
Everything was ready, (as I'd left me wellies at home a few weeks earlier), nothing was left to chance.
We set off, and got to the site for about 1800pm. On arrival, a group of birders were stood watching an area of scrub, in the corner of a field. We walked down to the crowd, and the bird could be seen from where we were all stood, albeit partially obscured by the various branches in front of it.
No chance of any images, as we were too far away, and the branches were everywhere. I walked away to set up me camera, in the hope it might come out into the open.
We both stood watching from afar, when I saw the Bluethroat fly over towards the sea wall. Everyone else stood staring at the bush it had left!!
I called over to say that the bird had left the bush, and was now near to the sea wall. It was now in the open, but 30 metres away. The birders walked towards the bird, but it went even further away.
No worries I thought, it'll come back. (I hoped).
Within ten minutes and everyone gone, we watched the Bluethroat fly down to the long grass by the footpath, down from the original bush it was seen in.
We walked over slowly, and the bird just sat there, singing its heart out.
I managed a few record images and we went home happy.

Bluethroats aren't very common in the North West, yet in the last five weeks, I'd caught up with both red spot and white spotted Bluethroats.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Bluethroat (Luscinia Cyanecula) Aldcliffe Marshes,Lancaster,Lancashire. 8th April 2008

I was at work today when I was about to hand over a patient when me phone started vibrating in me pocket. Obviously I couldn't answer it.
Again, and again it kept going off, but for what reason?
I handed over me patient and exited the building and checked me phone, and their were numerous missed calls.
I checked the history and they were from Ian Corbett. It was obvious that a decent bird was about. I immediately rung Ian back to see what all the fuss was about.
'Where are you?' he said,
'Im at work why?'
'(White spotted) Bluethroat near you'
'How near?'
'Aldcliffe Marsh' was the answer.
Now from where I was at the hospital, Aldcliffe Marsh is approximately 1 1/2 miles from where I was stood.
I explained that I couldn't get there as I was at work, and the earliest I could get there was after 1900pm.
I had some planning to do.
I rung Hazel and asked her to put all my camera equipment in the car for when I get home. I explained I would be home, change vehicles, then shoot off for a Bluethroat.
I did just that. I finished work, dashed home, changed vehicles and was at Aldcliffe for  1930pm.
I walked (briskly) towards where I thought the bird was. In the distance a lone birder stood scanning the area. As I approached him, I realised it was Mark Prestwood. Mark hadnt seen the bird, but there was still time.
It was at this moment that something was missing. Wellies!
I was stood on the marsh in a pair of trainers upto me ankles in water. (Must remember wellies next time).
No worries, as as I was thinking, the bird popped up on a piece of driftwood. I knelt down to keep low, and fired off some images.
It had been a bit of a rush, and I was soaked up to me knees, but well worth it.