Whilst at Marsh Lane on Tuesday morning where I saw 4 Common Sandpipers on the CP pool and 2 Little Egrets on the RW pool I bumped into Glen Giles in the river hide.It was whilst chatting to Glen in the hide about the long staying Red Footed Falcon in Staffordshire that persuaded me to set aside my hatred of the M6 and go up and see it.
At 6.00 AM this morning I set off and headed for the M6 a road I'd grown to hate it in the 80's and 90's when I used to travel along it up to Liverpool and Manchester etc where we had several major projects over the years.We sometimes had to get up there twice a week and travelling with a couple of architects and a civil engineer each time made the journey even worse.Mind you in those days I was a third lane racer.Now I am first lane slow coach.
Got to J 16 in pretty decent time although the M6 was very busy even at that time in the morning.As I dropped down onto the A500 in reached for the route map I'd downloaded and it wasn't there.I'd left it at home.What a clown ! !
Having to rely on my memory I very soon got hopelessly lost and it was only with a bit of luck when I stumbled onto the A527 that I found my way to the right place.It was 7.30 AM when I parked up next to the only birder there.It was a bit gloomy and surprisingly cold.I was dressed for a warm summer day of course.
I was very lucky because my new best friend was a veteran of watching this bird and knew all of it's favourite spots.It wasn't too long before he spotted it (on the colliery fencing) and I got some shots before it flew off and of course I got a life tick.
What a cracking looking bird.I stayed till just after 10.00 AM and during that time it showed very well but with quite long periods when it was perched out of site.Here are some shots of it perched on it's favourite bush.
It would suddenly drop down from it's perch onto the ground where it had spotted some food.
Another of it's favourite perches was on the back of a tree that was on the fence line of the road you parked on so it was very close.The trouble was you could only get a view of part of the bird and it was gloomy in the tree.
Managed a few flight shots of this stunning bird.
Did see the Black Redstart that was near the colliery main gate but not only would it not come close it was in a pretty tatty state.
I somehow managed to get back onto the M6 by 10.30 AM and headed home.The journey was OK till I got near J10 where there was a huge jam and it took me ages to get past J8.This brought back more bad memories of always picking the wrong lane when the traffic was in a jam.The other lanes always moved faster than mine.Also when the traffic finally speeds up you can never see what caused the jam.Glad I went though.