Thursday, 13 August 2015

Big stints and something beginning with S

The Dungeness locals found a Temminck's Stint on ARC yesterday morning, and being a part of the RSPB reserve they dutifully phoned in the sighting to the Visitor Centre. The conversation went something like this...

Mark: "There's a Temminck's Stint on ARC, viewable from the Hanson Hide"

VC staffer: (relaying the information to others in the room) "Mark's got a Ten Inch Stint!"

It has been suggested that she had other things on her mind at the time...

It reminded me of something that happened twenty years ago at Holmethorpe Sand Pits. I was wandering the pits one morning only to be accosted by a highly agitated band of birders who had hot-footed it from Beddington Sewage Farm, demanding to know if I had "seen it". What? I asked. "The Great Snipe" came the reply. I hadn't heard about it, and we were all non-plussed when it transpired that I had been with the supposed finder of the bird all morning, who had left for home an hour before. Later, the mystery was solved. Gordon Hay (for it was he), had returned home and told his wife that he had seen a drake Smew at the pits that morning, then went to work. Garry Messenbird (legendary Beddington birder) had phoned to speak to Gordon, to be told that he had gone to work, but was happy because he had seen a good bird at the sandpits beforehand. "What was that?" asked Gary. Gordon's wife was not sure, but thought it was a Great something or other, beginning with an S -maybe a Snipe... these were the days before mobile phones. I couldn't happen in 2015. Could it?

4 comments:

  1. I raced off to twitch a rarity some years back and my missus told my mate I had gone for a Icterine Wagtail....That had Nigel thinking ( Abbey Meadows blog)...( It was a Citrine Wag, not the other...)

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    1. That's a good 'un Stewart! Reminds me of some friends on Scilly who were told by an islander that someone had found a Peruli Pipit - it turned out to be a Perula Warbler.

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  2. Great story! A Great Snipe would be handy at Holmethorpe this autumn, having left Spurn a couple of days before the one that turned up there two years ago!

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    1. I've still not seen Great Snipe Neil - never had a sniff of one.

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