Out before first light down the Grandborough valley looking for owls with 2 Barn Owls noted at dawn near Willoughby and later a Cuckoo was heard but not seen at Grandborough Fields. Good to see Lesser Whitethroats and Tree Sparrows doing well but the cold conditions put paid to a decent dawn chorus.
Only been home 15 minutes when Dave rang to say he was hungry and on his way round just as news reached me that a private steam charter had been hired and was running past Fenny Compton. We had already planned to go there later so woofed our food down and arrived just in time as thundered past taking pundits from Birmingham to Oxford via Stratford upon Avon.
We hung around the area hoping something would sing or fly over but it was very quiet until just before the train we wanted arrived a Raven and Buzzard were seen chasing each other.
GWR Castle Class no 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe passing Fenny Compton
The last few days have been busy for LMS Black 5s nos 44871 and 45407 working The Cathedral Explorer from Carnforth to Carmarthen on Thursday and from Carmarthen to London Victoria yesterday so the crew must have been looking forward to a break as they steamed past on their way to the Severn Valley Railway at Kidderminster.
LMS Black 5s nos 44871 and 45407 approaching Fenny Compton by Dave Cox
A quick warm up at the Just So café then on to Stockton Cutting with Terry but it was far too windy and we were contemplating whether to visit the pond on a Saturday when JJ rang with news that a Black Stork was no more than 14 miles away near Upper Weedon, Northamptonshire.
After the shock we played it cool and had a look at the pond with Oystercatcher, Little Ringed Plover over and 500 Swift before JJs second call saying it was still present kicked us in to action.
Arrived to the news from The Bumbling Bears it had flown further up stream but soon found it perched in a tree where we enjoyed it for 10 minutes in our scopes with a small crowd of happy bunnies before it flew low west and disappeared out of view. A British tick for Dave.