Spring migration at last came to the patches I like to call my own. Pete and I walked the Moors last Saturday scanning the ploughed fields for Wheatear. No luck there, but Pete picked up a nice male Redstart. It was distant and not allowing us to get any nearer than we were. I tried with the bridge camera, but results were poor.
I went back in the afternoon to see if he was still in the same stretch of hedgerow, he was and I could also hear a second Redstart calling. I tried with the scope and phone to get a record shot.
He was still in residence on Sunday morning, and on Monday, Pete saw two Redstart.
Tuesday evening after work I went for a quick stroll and this time found a Wheatear on the patch.
Pete saw another on Wednesday. I was too busy to get out again in the week.
Today I went out early and had a quick walk around a local lake, I recorded my first Arctic Tern of the year. Home for a quick cuppa then Pete and I again took our Saturday morning walk around the patch. Pete had already had Blackcap in the week, but I was yet to see one. He took me to the area he had seen one in the week and sure enough we soon heard the teck-teck-teck and chattering of a Blackcap. It soon gave good views of itself and my first spring Blackcap was ticked.
Moments later a report came through of Two Black-Winged Stilts at RSPB Middleton. I hoped to make it to see them later in the day. Pete and I finished our walk and I made a few phone calls to see if I could rearrange my day. Everything went to plan and I was on my way.
What a gorgeous pair of birds they were and I spent a good while just enjoying viewing them before attempting to get any record shots. They never came really close while I was there, but I did use the phone through the scope to get some record shots and a short video.
Sometimes video from YouTube won't play in HD via my blog, if the video is poor quality, try this direct link Black- Winged Stilt
These are the first recorded in the Tame Valley since 1987. I'm hoping there is more to come, a patch Ring Ouzle would be great, doubtful, but fingers crossed.
I spent the afternoon setting up the Digidapter again for the Nikon P300 as I had readjusted it to experiment with another camera. I really took my time getting everything lined up before tightening it all down. A Dunnock sat on top of a tree in the garden enjoying the sunshine and I used it as a test subject. I will be out with this set up in the morning.