After posting yesterday we turned our attentions to a bird heard distantly at the back of South Marsh West last night. Above the regular reed warblers was another rythmic bird - but at a higher more piercing pitch. Given the number of marsh warblers being reported at present we thought it well worth checking out this morning but with no success. If it was a marsh warbler it would be the second ever - the last being 1979ish - but that's a big if...
Intentions were to make a return trip this evening to have another look. However we got news of a great bird for the area just north of us at Struncheonhill courtesy of Michael Flowers. Whilst guiding his group around he managed to pick up the call of a corncrake - very hard to come by in this area. We filmed this at 5pm and you can possibly just hear the rasp of the crake above the fieldwork tractor in the background.
The bird has been present on private land just north of Scurf Dyke, in the Struncheonhill shooting estate. As such this is stictly no access so do not expect or attempt to see it. The bird is roughly here - note the public bridleway along the southern side of Scurf Dyke which is the nearest listening post. It is somewhat equi-distant from Bethell's bridge, Scurf Dyke Farm and Hempholme Meadows at Tophill. At this location is a finger post which doubles up as a high quality observation platform:
Remember though - you are listening only. There is no permission of access on this land and we certainly don't want to hear of or see anyone attempting to flush it. Despite what we may say to offenders the local gamekeeper will likely do worse... Clearly this is not going to be a photographic subject so this grey partridge on the D res straight is the nearest match:
Along with the red-legs:
This mute swan showed us off its ring in Scurf Dyke - Y267 - one to investigate:
Reserve Walk tomorrow and we'll be trying for some of these at least - 10am all welcome.