Arrived at the open barn Grandborough Valley before first light hoping the Crane reported by dog walkers last night was for real and not a Grey Heron but as the mist rolled in it was obvious that whatever they saw had gone. There were at least 2 Wheatear on the northern edge of the large field and a Barn Owl perched.
Both Dennis and Terry informed me the Brandon Marsh Spotted Crake was showing so had to make an executive decision – cycle 10+ miles in poor visibility to see it, stake out Draycote or go home and wait for the sun to do its work. Now don’t try this unless you are as daft as me but have you noticed the recent sun spot activity on the sun (where else) – with a low early morning orb covered in mist they are quiet impressive but for Christ sake don’t damage your eyes.
I chose home and went down the pond later with Bob and April when visibility had improved but that’s about as positive as it got. Yesterday’s Little Gulls remained but no sign of the Black Redstart although it was apparently there at 10:45am but did not know that till this evening and personally I saw very little else apart from 5 Meadow Pipit, 5 Shoveler, 6 Goldeneye and a few Wigeon. Our luck got even worse when April photographed a bird sitting on a boat for a few seconds that we had not noticed and looks 100% Water Pipit but another feathered beastie we could not re-located.
As it warmed up towards mid-day we joined up with Dave and Steve and cleared off looking for underwing’s finding 30+ Light Orange Underwing and Bob located Early-tooth Stripe moth in the undergrowth plus a couple of Bee Flys.
Sightings over my garden late afternoon included a Peregrine seen twice, Sparrowhawk and 5 Buzzard followed by 4 Sand Martin at 6pm.