Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Purple Heron

I was a bit doubtful about today’s planned trip going ahead, as a rarity turned up at the venue at the weekend, and I thought the area may be swamped with twitchers. I turned up early to have a recce, and saw a Turtle Dove and a Little Egret, but there was no one present, although Garry Taylor was arriving as I was nipping back to meet the am class. We returned half an hour later, as Garry was leaving, and he gave some clues as to where the Purple Heron favoured, although it had been flushed to some nearby pools. Down the lane we had excellent views of Yellowhammer, Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, and Sedge Warbler with more fleeting glimpses of Skylark, Grey Partridge & Yellow Wagtail. We did spy the Purple Heron flying in the distance, and were able to see the rough location of its landing. I wasn’t entirely sure of the way & after a disastrous crossing of some uneven ground where blood was drawn we reached one of our objectives. Here, we had a Cuckoo, Reed Warblers, Reed Buntings, Marsh Harrier and could hear Grey Plover & Whimbrel. We did see the Purple Heron crouched from a distance where it resembled a Bittern, but we didn’t disturb it in the hope it would still be present for the pm session. On the return journey we saw 2 pairs of Wall Browns fighting, plus several Common Blues – many of them females.
The afternoon was much cloudier than the morning, so many songsters were under wraps, but we still saw Yellowhammer, and Lesser Whitethroat. Unbeknown to us, as we walked swiftly from one location to another & just before we walked down the final drain David S was thinking “this twitching lark is a load of rubbish”. He probably no longer thought this a few minutes later! We checked the drain and flushed the Purple Heron, which landed on the top of the bank ahead of us, where it tried to hide in the emerging Cow Parsley. Sue beckoned the office working twitcher, who’d been dogging our steps for some time & she set up her scope for everyone to enjoy views of the Heron. It showed well in a field before flying into Winestead Drain. From there it was flushed by a pair of West Yorkshire twitchers after which it flew high west, and seemed to follow the course of Winestead Drain towards the settlement of Patrington Haven. Carol wasn’t there to give her customary mark, so the others kindly said the excellent views of the Purple Heron (a ‘lifer’ for most people) was worth 17 out of 10!
The top 3 pics are all of the Purple Heron followed by a Yellowhammer, and then a Reed Bunting (c) 2010 Aileen Urquhart. Then there is a Grey Partridge, a Sedge Warbler, a Lesser Whitethroat & some female Common Blues.

No comments: