Friday 13 November 2015

Chesterfield Crag Martin

On Sunday 8th of November, news came in of a Crag Martin  (a Hirundine) from southern Europe had been seen flying around the the church spire of  Saint Mary and all Saints, which is famously known for its' twisted spire. I was unable to do anything about it for 3 days due to work so I resigned myself to another 'mega' passing me by. Steve James did give me a call on Monday morning to say he was going around lunchtime, but like I said, work got in the way and as it is unusual for these birds to stick around, you can imagine my amazement when, on Tuesday, the bird was last seen at 3.50 pm so it was hopefully not going anywhere till the following day, as they are day time migrants. And so, the Duchess and I hatched a plan to get to Chesterfield for first light, but the plan changed when Dave Gray put a call out to ask if anybody was going for the bird. We decided to go together, so arranged for  Dave to be at my house for 6.00 am the following morning; we made good time, and 50 minutes later, we were in McDonalds having breakfast. The church was only a couple of minutes away, and as we parked up, there were 40 or so birders already in position. Well, the next 6 hours were like watching wood warp - oh - apart from 300 Pink- footed Geese going East over the town, but no sign of our target bird. Had it been predated?.... or had it decided to move from its roosting site and headed for pastures new?  Anyway, we headed for home. 
Fast forward to Friday 13th. The Duchess and I are having a very nice breakfast in our local co-op when I get a call from my good mate Steve James - his words were 'the Crag Martin is' back!!  After a little choke, I thanked Steve and the Duchess and I nipped back home picked the binoculars  and camera up, and off we went, back to the 'twisted spire',  parking up at the same car park just across the road from the church. There it was, feeding around the church spire. It was great to see my good mate from the West Midlands crew, Jason Oliver there, as he had 'dipped' on the bird on Wednesday. We did have a good laugh about it all!! The bird only stayed for 10 minutes before disappearing; it reappeared again - but only for a couple of minutes. Having had decent views, we headed for home before the M1 got too busy. Trying to get images were a nightmare (excuses) - my best couple are below


As always thanks for stopping by!!!