Thursday, 7 March 2013

Two Year Ticks And A Rant

Nice to see we are having an early summer again this year - it could be July or August out there right now. Wet wet wet!

I've had a very exciting addition to the year list since my last post, Spoonbill!  It's a cracking adult, and was first spied late Tuesday flying west over the Estuary before it appeared to drop down on to Seaton Marshes. Thanks to Neil and Ian for informing me about this. 

So, early on Wednesday I was out - along with Gavin and Tim.  No sign during a brief look over Seaton Marshes and around the Borrow Pit, then a look up the Estuary failed to locate it. To be honest it wasn't looking good, Gav went home, Tim back to Seaton Marshes and I tried Black Hole Marsh.  It wasn't at Black Hole either, but wandering back to the car I suddenly spotted it flying from Seaton Marshes towards Coronation Corner.  A short while later I found out why it was flying - Tim has relocated in on Seaton Marshes on his return visit.  So that was that, and it is still with us today.  This Spoonbill wasn't just an addition to the patch year list (a very welcome one at that - less than annual here), it was also an addition to the house list!  I saw it twice during Wednesday morning from home, once from the bedroom and once from our new table in the kitchen. On both occasions it was flying south.

I would now love to be posting some photos of it, but I simply don't need to because there's some excellent photos HERE and HERE.

I managed another year tick today. The plan was to go to the Tower Hide for lunch, I had it all packed and everything. I was presuming there were going to be lots of gulls on the Estuary given the weather, I was wrong. No large gulls at all in front of the hide, but there were four Ringed Plovers. Now there's only two species of birds that has been seen on patch in 2013 that I've not seen, Black-throated Diver and Great Skua, I am dead pleased with that. These Ringed Plovers were more proof that there's some wader passage going on at the moment, I hope for some more in the next few days.

Due to the lack of gulls, I didn't eat my lunch in the Tower Hide and I headed back home.

But the lack of gulls wasn't the only reason I stayed so briefly in the hide  Stand by for a rare rant...

I am a birder who does prefer to be alone in a bird hide, but I am more than happy to share one - I think birding is a great hobby to share.  But when I walked into a rather busy Tower Hide today, I immediately noticed not one of the windows were open. Maybe not such of an issue if its a nice day, but they were all steamed up and soaking wet!  I tried my best to be polite and tried to focus my scope though the glass, but this wasn't working, so I had to open one.  This was immediately greeted by groans, a "your letting a draft in" and a couple of "oh it's cold".  I'm sorry, but it is a BIRD HIDE!!!! If you want to stay warm and see nothing, go home. Bird hides are outside, and outside it can be cold, wet and windy.

I shut the window, and left...

End of rant. 


  1. Remarkable self-control Stevie. Don't reckon I'd have managed it.

  2. Foolishly thought that all this wasted money was for the use of joe public and not just for the private use of sulky and grumpy

    1. Did you now? Well, clearly you were incorrect. The money wasted on hides is specifically intended to provide private facilities for the sulky and grumpy, so that they have somewhere to shelter when the weather turns a bit inclement. They can sit in the warm and dry, chatting about when this unpleasant wind and rain is going to ease and they can venture outdoors again. When Joe Public bumbles along to what he naively takes to be a bird hide they can turn quite nasty - especially if he has the temerity to open a slot in order to actually look at birds, because of course he then lets all that horrid weather in! They don't like it at all, and moan a bit. The grumpy sulks...

      Or have I misconstrued your comment, Anonymous?

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  3. Early doors or last knockings are the only sensible times to Visit Black Hole Marsh for the anti-social, that's when you'll find me there ;-) If I'm there at all, which mostly I'm not.

  4. I'd have calmly delivered a lecture on the history of bird hides about how they have evolved from screens from which you could KILL birds and PEOPLE to structures with roofs and OPEN slots and how open slots routinely let in the rain so the slots had shutters put over them which could opened only when needed, but this also made the hide pitch dark so in order that you could see where you were going when entering a hide, they replaced the shutter infill with glass.Which means that the idea idea is to keep the windows closed until you enter the hide.
    We have to make allowances sometimes but knowing your facts does on occasion work. Unless of course you insist that the earth and all things in it were created in 6 days, which sort of negates the credibility.
    Its a bird hide, not a Public House.

  5. I agree. A bird hide IS for watching birds. I would open the windows for a better view. If someone said something to me about closing it, I don't thin I would be so polite!!