I never posted about my trip to Morpeth on the 17th November because it was so depressing! We twitched the Squacco Heron that died overnight (the night before we went). I never thought I would experience a day like that again. 13th May 2011 decided to have a go at the title of the worst twitch ever!
I set off at 07.22 for a summer-plumaged Spotted Sandpiper in Milton Keynes which was present on the 12th. When I got to Milton Keynes, I got a text off Chris to say that the bird had not been seen today...gutted! A wasted journey and a waste of a lot of money!!
I decided to turn back straight away and within 15 mins, I got a phonecall off Mr. Bridge regarding a Corncrake that had been found by the legend, Ken Croft, at South Stack and it was calling. I should have stayed in Bangor!
I got back to Bangor at 14.30 and then onto Holyhead by about 15.00. As soon as I got off the Station at Holyhead, It started to rain. I literally thought that Mother Nature was taking the mick as there really couldn't be much more in the day that could go wrong. If there was a weather that would make the crake hard to see, it was rain and wind. Sadly, both of these were present when I arrived on site (very wet indeed)
At 16.19, I was rewarded with the wonderful sound of a Corncrake calling in a field...unmistakeable! From 16.50-17.40, the bird called ever 10 minutes, literally on the dot. I managed to catch a very brief (albeit educational) view of the bird at 17.20 when I saw the bird calling from the grass.
This is only the second bird I have ever seen, after I saw a bird in flight on Iona (Mull) in 2006. This was the first time I have ever heard a Corncrake in the flesh!
Although, when I woke up on the 13th May, I was 19 miles from a Corncrake, I travelled 460 miles to see the bird....mad!
It was a tortuous day, but a Corncrake in North Wales more than makes up for it!