Friday, 14 August 2015

Pants birding

On Monday I spent a few hours grilling the fields and hedgerows at Canons Farm. It was eerily quiet, not even a 'hweet' or 'hoo-eet' from a Chiffchaff or Willow Warbler to be heard. I almost cheered when a Whitethroat broke cover. My skywatching revealed nothing, apart from the fact that a few corvids and gulls were bothering to move, and even they were doing so half-heartedly. I returned home with the thought that at least I had made the effort.

This afternoon I returned, hopeful that the odd migrant would be lurking - after all, Tree Pipit, Reed Bunting and Curlew had all been recorded there mid-week, and are all good local birds. But a steady drizzle greeted me and the fields and hedgerows did a repeat performance from Monday (although to be honest a single Chiffchaff did call). I wandered lonely as a very damp cloud, my enthusiasm waning with every passing minute. I don't mind birding without highlights, I just like to have something to look at! I was desperate, so started to scan the Carrion Crows and Jackdaws, I grilled the Woodpigeons sitting on wires, I ogled a Dunnock that was stupid enough to show itself. This is not birding made of legend. It was pants.

I'm a great believer in taking the rough with the smooth; that you remember your good days because of your bad days; that you are a minute closer to seeing that good bird or avian spectacle; and the more you bird the luckier you get. But sometimes - just sometimes - it can be hard to accept. Of course, I'll be over there again in the next few days, because you just never know...


  1. Much the same here today Steve, but right at the death a Whinchat turned up...............fantastic!

  2. At least you're out enduring the grotty days Steve. Many birders these days only venture out when their pager bleets, rare bird.

  3. Steve, I can feel your pain, inland birding certainly drives a hard bargain; as someone who lived in land-locked Bedfordshire for 30 years I can vouch for that. It`s shocking what`s happened to bird diversity and numbers in the wider countryside, and the sad thing is I cannot see it improving much in the near future. Sorry to be so negative, but hope to see you down on the shingle soonest.

  4. Today, to blast away the birding blues, I went up to 'that there London' with my eldest daughter to look at the Royal Geographical Society annual photographic exhibition. It's done the trick...