Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Unfulfilling...

...is the most suitable word I could think of for the title of this blog post.  

I have had a couple of good days birding on patch - there have been lots of thrushes about especially.  The weather conditions have been just perfect.  But despite the numbers, and the sights, it's just missed 'the one'. I am forever hopeful though, and hope to be titling tomorrows post as 'The One'.

So why else has it been unfulfilling?  Well - I don't do twitching, I hate twitching and twitches (not twitchers though, I have some good friends who come under that bracket!). But very occasionally the bird causing the twitch outweighs all of this.  There are two reasons why I would want to 'twitch' a rare bird..

1/   Because I think studying it in the field will give me a little more experience and potentially help me in the future if I was ever to find one.

2/  Because I want to see it.  This summer's White-winged Black Tern at Lodmoor an example of this!

Well yesterday, Portland delivered a bird that certainly ticked point two - and also point one to a certain extent.  So today, I had prepared myself (mentally) to embark on a twitch to see it, I just needed news that it was there.  Well the first news was negative, and the second wave of news was only 'a report'.  When the third report came out, and that it was definitely there, it was too late.  I just didn't have time.  I am just hoping it stays overnight again, I would love to see it.  Oh yeah, by 'it', I mean THIS

So this has certainly helped me feeling 'unfulfilled'.  Getting arse-end views only of three non-calling short-tailed looking Larks from the front garden yesterday morning didn't help either. I hate 'letting things go'.

I suppose it could be worse, I could have been a fish in this part of the River Axe yesterday morning...

Oh dear!

That's enough negativity!  What HAVE I seen?

Well yesterday morning, I had an hour to 'do' Beer Cem Fields.  It felt SO rare - low cloud and fog, some drizzle, and thrushes everywhere!  LOADS of Blackbirds, about 25 Redwing, maybe 15 Song Thrush and my first Fieldfare of the autumn - as vocal as ever!  A Brambling over was my first of the autumn also.  The bushes (aside from thrushes) were quiet really - just a couple of Chiffs.   

After this I had to spent a couple of hours at home, but went out again for a good three hours afterwards.  I tried to cover as many sites as possible (Lower Bruckland Ponds, Seaton Marshes, Axmouth Harbour, the Estuary) - but I was to be disappointed.  A few Siskins and Redpolls, and two wing-barred warbler-less Long-tailed Tit flocks.

This morning, I was up Beer Cem again. I had more time though so gave it two hours.  The cloud was much higher (although still 100% cover), and no fog, but there were still lots of Thrushes.  50 Redwing is certainly a conservative estimate, with probably about the same number of Blackbirds.  20 Song Thrush and a Mistle Thrush completes the Thrush counts for this visit!  Like the previous day, a single Brambling flew over, but again like the previous day, there wasn't much else!

Having still not see a Black Red this autumn (I don't know how, Start Point had 21 yesterday!) I went down to Axe Yacht Club and sure enough, there was one...

In this photo it seems to be another one of them 'slightly rufous bellied ones' - what ever they are!

A quick look up the Estuary showed nothing better than a Bar-tailed Godwit.  Then a quick look at Axmouth FC scrape showed two Green Sands, five Lapwing (with another 30 on the river) and 34 Wigeon.  

The weather seems to be pretty much the same again tomorrow - so I will try again. Maybe a different place though.  Axe Cliff maybe?  Then hopefully I will be going off twitching....


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