Wednesday, 18 November 2015

CRAG MARTIN! - 14.11.15

Phil Bishops cracking photo of the Crag Martin. Cheers Phil
My crappy photo of the Crag Martin (blob to left of spire)!
It wouldn't happen nowadays with Health + Safety!
Before this year I'd never birded Derbyshire but I paid my first visit in May for the summer plumaged Red-Throated Pipit. Driving past Chesterfield I finally saw the famous crooked spire on St Mary's + All Saints church that I'd seen on TV before. I made the most of seeing it as I didn't think I'd see it again. How wrong I was! Remembrance Sunday and news broke of a Crag Martin flying around the aforementioned church by a birder looking out for the local Peregrines but only locals made it in time before it vanished. It was still there on and off through the week and so with positive news on the Friday I enquired about a lift up for Saturday. Thankfully Chris Sharp had a spare seat and so at 6am I met up with Chris, Brendan Glynn and young but getting taller Ephraim Perfect! Chris then mentioned that Paul Frost was coming along and was driving. We filled the boot and I squeezed in the back seat and off we went. Arriving on site at around 8.30am we joined the crowd all looking up at the crooked spire anxiously waiting for the bird to arrive. The hours ticked by with only a flock of Pink-Footed Geese to entertain us, a visit to Greggs for a hot chocolate warmed the cockles and it was good to chat to a few Herts birders for a catch up including Ricky Flesher, Terry Smith and Phil Bishop. At around 10.50 I wandered back towards the church as I had finished my drink and just as I was on the grass I looked up and what should fly into my view but my first ever UK CRAG MARTIN! I shouted there it is and suddenly birders who were reading the paper or chatting were asking where, where?! I then turned to the lads and tried whistling but nothing came out so I was waving at them to come over. They quite quickly joined me and for the next 30-40 minutes we tried to keep an eye on the bird as it flew around the church at near super sonic speed. It was hard enough to keep in bins so how some people managed to get good photos of it I don't know! I'd never been at a twitch before when a loud cheer went up as people got onto it! It was later that day that its roost site was found just up the road at Chesterfield FC's ground. The forecast rain held off until we were back on the road home. The only downer of a very enjoyable day was Paul bursting a tyre as he parked up at Chris's! Thanks lads.

No comments:

Post a Comment