Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Brian Stone does it again! Dartford Warbler! Not only a PBC first, but a Hunts first! Well done matey!

Although originally found on the southern riverside edge of the River Nene at Padholme Pumping Station, by the time I and the masses (well 10 people!) had amassed, the bird had flown across the river and had been lost.

A brief glimpse of the bird in flight by myself (UTVs) was followed by another wait when Brian thought he saw it distantly near a couple of Stonechats. We all watched the Stonechats. I followed a movement to the left and eventually it materialised. Bingo! I was watching a Watford Dabbler!

The bird was very active and mobile, moving around Stanground Wash with Stonechats and was always distant. I chanced my arm with the camera when it sat up and was visible against the pale grass background. Amazingly, given the tiny size of the bird and the distance involved, I got this record shot!

Brian stayed on until dark and managed a couple of better shots.

But the day had a sting in the tail for our Bri. Leaving the area in the dark, a wet road and muddy tyres saw him slip off into a roadside field with one helluva result! Thankfully for all of us who depend on him for finding some birds to look at, he escaped unharmed but I've yet to hear how long he had to freeze his hoodjajips off waiting for the cavalry to arrive.

Amazingly, as I was leaving Padholme Pumping Station, I found the second warbler of the day here - a Sedge Warbler, feeding along the counter drain on the Flag Fen side of the river bank. This was just a bit easier to snap!

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