Sunday, 7 November 2010

Twitchers: A very British obsession

Of course I won't be lowering myself to start commenting on this subject as it has been discussed and ridiculed on many other blogs and websites.  The Birdforum thread has totally exhausted the subject, but yes, I did watch it but I won't be drawn into the childish pictures and comments that are being thrown about.  Garry seems a decent enough bloke though so if I were ever to get drawn in to the subject, my comments won't be aimed at him.  Not that I'm going to get involved. 

So here's what happened on the 29th October.

29th October (you already knew that)

I went to Donna Nook again and this time I saw a Cattle Egret.  It had been hanging around with the cattle but was now following a tractor driven by a man whom I can only presume was a farmer.  It was with some gulls. In a totally unrelated incident, last night I dreamt that I crashed the car into a cow that was stood in the middle of the road.

Cattle similar to the cattle the Cattle Egret
used to hang around but doesn't anymore.

And here's what happened on 4th November. Have you noticed that I haven't been out much?  I know.  In the peak season too.  I just got really busy with work and only managed to get to Spurn a few times.  I'm definitely not getting drawn into the Twitchers theme.  It's far too childish.

4th November

Woah!  Nearly fell there.  What a stupid slippery muddy path this is here at Wheldrake Ings. Plus it's fucking miles to the last hide which is coincidentally named "Swantail Hide".  What's coincidental about that? I don't know either, I just like to throw in a long word now and again to make it sound good.

Precipitating into the hide I was met be 18 million Wigeon and no birders.  "I'll have to find the Yankee Wigeon myself then" I said to myself far too loudly and flushed everything to the back of the lake.

"Oh well then" I again shouted really loudly only because I was alone and you don't often get the chance to shout in a hide.

"RIGHT THEN!" I continued for no reason whatsoever.

"WELL NOW!" I screamed, somewhat running out of relevant things to shout.

"erm....HELLO!" left my satisfied that I had finally managed to shout in a hide so I sat down and started scoping the ducks.  They were a) miles away b) lots of them c) I was alone d) the Canada Gooses decided to fly from their comfy pond well out of the way and land between me and the ducks for no other reason than to obscure my view and make it even more difficult for me to find this American Baldpate.

Several long scans through the flock later, I decided to stand up and move to the other end of the hide for reasons unknown.  Strangely, the odd drake Teal kept winding me up by popping it's sort-of-similar-head-pattern out from amongst the Wigeon, thus thinking I'd found the Yankee Widge for just a split second.  Rubbish?  Me?  You bet your ass.  Teal for Americano Wigeano?  I know, it's bad, but it was only for split long try it then.

The Baldpate nickname for this bird (meaning absolutely bald head) actually allowed me to finally find it.  I noticed a 'Wigeon' right at the back, face on.  A striking pale patch almost as if the bill was reflecting the sun caught my eye.  But the pale goes right up it's forehead!  It turned and started a strange feeding motion, sort of dipping its head in and lifting it abruptly high but keeping it's bill close to its chest.  Diagnostic?  I don't know, but it certainly helped me get into it and confirm it's identity as a Yankee doodle Drake Americano Widge.  Good job it was a drake methinks or I might have struggled at this distance with my old school scope.

Now I'm not usually serious and most of the things that you read on here are simply made up, but finally 'finding' this difficult fucker made it all the more satisfying.  Certainly much better than someone just putting me on it. I was almost euphoric, which is a bit of a strange reaction for such a bird that is not exactly mega rare to say the least.  So euphoric in fact that I walked back to the car and got in it, but not before I thought I heard Lesser Pecker calling.  Unfortunately I never saw the blighter.  The irony I've been thinking about today is that God made woman out of one of Adam's ribs, but I couldn't help thinking that if he'd have removed a few more, Adam wouldn't have needed a woman in the first place.

Would you believe it?

You was expecting some childish pictures of Garry and Lee wasn't you?  You know me too well.  Well I'm not.  No.  I'm not doing it....

I'm not....

Oh go on then...

I will be your father figure, put your tiny hand in mine,
I will be your preacher, teacher, anything you had in mind

Look at the chest!  Ha ha ha ha ha I should really grow up.

There's a lot of crimes, birding crimes going on.

Separated at birth.  Even down to the earring.
I think we now know who George models himself on.

Very poor indeed.


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