Posted by Graeme Lyons , Thursday, 18 April 2013 07:54
Picture the scene. You've just spent your birthday ill in bed with a rotten cold and have taken the following day off sick too. Having finally dragged yourself out of a steaming hot bath at about 3.30 pm, you notice a missed call from Paul Marten. He tells me these is a Corncrake showing well at Beachy Head NOW! My head is spinning, I feel like death warmed up BUT Corncrake is THE only regular British bird that I haven't seen. There is no way I am letting a cold get the better of me. Then 30 minutes later I was looking at this, a ludicrously tame bird. I never thought I would see this, many of the birders present who were older than me were also saying the same thing. It seemed like a once in a life time opportunity.
The bird was feeding actively on very large earthworms the whole time I was there. It was so close that if filled the entire view finder on the scope. You can make it out on the track in these pictures. Thanks to all the birders whose scopes I borrowed to take these shots with the Coolpix 4500 but a huge thanks to Paul Marten for ringing me! What an awesome belated birthday present!