The Merecrest Bunting Trials

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Zipped over to Martin Mere on a fruitless quest for a new lens for me poor old ‘scope, and came across Andy Bunting panting his way back to the In Focus shop having failed to connect with the Firecrest that’s been knocking around in collection area for the last few days.
He explained how low down and sneaky this particular ‘crest was – travelling alone, covering a large area and keeping low, and how important it was for his Patchwork Challenge glory bid that he connect with it.
Then he kindly directed me towards the Crane pens and he was on his way.
I wandered through the pens and just past the Crane enclosure to a flooded area of willows and reed where Long Tailed Tits, Goldcrest and finches were flitting about and on whim, tried my old Audubon “squeaker” – a twisty gizmo that draws in passerines in seconds in the States, but has never worked for me over here.
A few squeaks and twists and up popped the Firecrest – all stripey-faced and bronze shouldered – a stunner!
I only had my bins on it for a few seconds then it dropped down and out of sight – so I rang Andy and he came running over across the reserve to miss it again.
A cautionary tale of Patchwork Challenge trauma.
I’m sure he’ll catch up with it in the next day or two.

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Then I went for a stroll to play with my new camera, but it was all a bit tricky – too many buttons still, things will improve with practice (I hope), but it was a blurry day today.
Hordes of wildfowl and Marsh Harrier as usual.
Wishing you all a merry xmas and a spiffing new year.

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