Blog

Fri 2nd April 2010

Posted on April 3, 2010 at 12:10 AM

birds : Well the first week of the Easter holidays has been wet and windy, definitely not good for searching for migrants, and Rosie has been working a few days also, so I haven't exactly been giving it some welly. Yesterday afternoon, Mark Guppy found a Crane down at the aerodrome but I was making tea for the kids and so wasn't able to get down to see it. It wasn't an emergency as I'd seen Crane on Guernsey before and I assumed it would still be present today since the weather was looking dodgy and planned to go see it in the afternoon when Rosie came home from work.

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However, mid-morning the rain cleared and the sun came out and I thought it was going to bugger off back on its migration. So I cracked and bundled all the kids into the car and headed way down west. The Crane showed very well on the grass by the Claire Mare reedbed but I didn't watch it for long or take proper photos as 3 children take just a few minutes to demolish a distractive packet of crisps. It seemed to be an adult bird with a black and white head, with a small red patch, plus showy plumes of black-tipped feathers at the rear end.

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Crane at L'Eree

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I also saw a male Garganey that had turned up earlier in the morning, on the adjacent pond at the back of the reedbed. No time to watch it though as I got a call from Chris that they were watching a possible Ring-billed Gull round the corner. I drove round and joined them for a quick look at this bird but this unplanned delay did not go down well with the kids waiting in the car and there was an unfortunate rounders bat incident which ended in tears. The gull turned out to probably be just a first-year Common Gull but it was worth getting out there as the Crane had taken off and flew low just over us, and it was calling too - a pretty impressive sight. It went off inland and I was pleased I made the decision to go early for it.

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After a brief walk round Lihou Headland with the children where Abigail found a penguin on the beach (Guillemot), we returned home for lunch. At about 12:30 I was preparing our sandwiches in the kitchen when I heard the gulls outside become somewhat vocal and I thought "I wonder if. . ...". And so I ran outside with the bins to be greeted by the Crane drifting East past the house, just to the North of us. What a fab garden tick! I ran in to get the camera, then ran in again to get the memory card for it, by which time the wind had drifted it well east of us, and I only got the crappy unzoomed shots below.

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frame-filling close up of a Crane in flight

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As you can see, I was unable to take a decent photo of the Crane today and since it flew, I am unlikely going to be able to do. So here is Mark Guppy's excellent photo that he took just after he found it - only the 8th record for Guernsey.

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moths : A Speckled Wood in the garden today was only my second species of butterfly for the year.

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nonsense : With the kids being off school and the weather being poor, we had to find some indoor activities and so we paid a visit to the Aquarium. It was a very underwhelming experience and it felt more like visiting a pet shop. With the technology we have today and the ease of producing good-looking posters and information sheets, I felt that the dog-eared labels to the tanks were exceptionally poor and the whole place was "well shabby". There was some interesting fishy stuff in there though but as usual with these places, the tanks were far too small for my liking.

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Picasso Triggerfish - great name, great fish

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the Les Dawson Fish

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Cave Salamander type thing

Categories: Other Rarities, 2010 Spring