Saturday 1 May 2010


What a rather interesting day that was. It started at 0430 (that's am) with Roger, Paul and I leading 45 people on a dawn chorus walk. There was a Nightingale singing on Hangman's Bridge yesterday but unfortunately it cleared off in the night. However plenty of other songsters including 4 Lesser Whitethroats along the track. Then after breakfast it was back to our stations for the Beddington Big Day- a dusk till dawn vigil aimed at seeing as many species as possible within a day.

Despite the southwest winds there were a few migrants including female Whinchat, 1-2 Wheatear, 3 Yellow Wagtail over, 1 Common Buzzard and an influx of hirundines including 100+ Swift. At around 1500 I went back to the obs for a coffee. I thought I would keep an eye on the sky for any fly over migrants so went to the window for an obs watch. I looked to the north and saw a giant bird approaching and immediately ran for my camera. From the splayed out fingers and flat wings I knew it was either a stork or crane so took a couple of shots, binned it- saw it was a bloody Common Crane and quickly phone Johnny who was with the others on the dawn to dusk vigil at the hide. From the obs window I then started hearing Johnny shouting followed by a silence and then a huge roaring cheer- so I assumed they were on to it. I quickly went back to hide and was met with this reception:

The Beddington Obs (my flat)- got it's first mega, Common Crane; a first for Beddington.


Graham James said...

Brilliant bird for Beddington and Surrey, Peter.

Chris Townend (Jaffa) said...

An absolute cracking find Pete and all from the comfort of your own home with coffe in hand!! It doesn't get much better! Nice one an I absolutely love the reception you received. Well done mate. Let's speak over weekend.

Peter Alfrey said...

Nice one gentlemen! A very interesting weekend indeed.

Dominic Mitchell said...

Terrific find, Peter - heard about it but didn't realise it was you adding it to your garden list!

Peter Alfrey said...

Cheers Dominic,
the garden list is growing. So far Common Crane, Glaucous Gull, Marsh Harrier, Red Kite, Jack Snipe, Whimbrel, Barwit, Curlew and Golden Plover from the window. Tawny Owl from the bed!