24th September – Scottish Twitch

Posted: September 28, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,

With the arrival of a Long Toed Stint (the bird had been all manner of birds until re-identified) in Sussex a “twitching team” was assembled Bob the Twitch couldn’t make it until nearer weekend (well done Bob) so an early blast off had to wait. As happens so often the bird was not seen again and the whole trip was cancelled! Whilst visiting a local supermarket a check of the birdnews revealed that a Sandhill Crane had been seen in Aberdeenshire. Must ring Bob the Twitch, he was expecting my call and said he would go and Andy and Mark from York also. We left at midnight picked up the York contingent and headed up the A1 went straight through to Edinburgh and swopped drivers. The journey along the A1 had been fraught with:- roadworks, speed cameras, convoys, ambulances etc, etc. We finally had to run the gauntlet through the early morning “rush-hour” traffic in Aberdeen. Reaching the general area, St Combs, had been placed into the “safe hands” of  Bob the Twitch, we did a few cart tracks,farm buildings etc, until in a state of utter desperation we had to get directions from a local lady (many thanks to her) who told us in a beautiful scotch accent to look for the “brown hut”. We found it at 8-30am with about 5 cars in attendance. Mark decided to change into his boots and by this time we had run up a field and saw the bird, a beautiful, large Sandhill Crane. The bird was watched for about 2 hours as it serenly strode about feeding in a stubble field and even had a little dance to see the local crows off. It flew out of view and we decided it was time to head south. 4 Lapland Buntings and a few thousand Pink Footed Geese were also seen. We called in at Black Dog,  just north of Aberdeen, as the weather began to get worse and did a 20 minutes seawatch adding:- 10+ Black Throated Divers, Slavonian Grebe, 2 Long Tailed Ducks, 3 Sandwich Tern and masses of Eider and Common Scoter, but not the hoped for Black Scoter! We reached Aberdeen at lunchtime then had a stop on route at Abingdon, reaching home at 9-30pm a mere 22 hours after leaving! Andy did well to sleep most of the way, Mark had to listen to my drivelings about past twitches (his ears must have been buzzing) and Bob the Twitch did really well to steer his Mazda into all the right places,well done to all!


The Stig (Ozzy)


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