Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Birding from the car

Do you have a ‘birds seen from the car’ list? I haven’t, but, nudged by a birding chum of mine, I might just start one…

His own list is most impressive, bolstered by (a) having discretionary vehicular access to prime Dungeness habitat where he can use the car as a hide, and (b) spending copious amounts of time in the pursuit of birds. Already this year he has added Penduline Tit to his said list. He welcomed Black Stork on to it last autumn… you get the picture.

But, before any such list is started, a few rules need to be agreed. Is the list just for your own personal vehicle, or can it stretch to any vehicle that you happen to be in? Should the list be confined to birds seen by chance, or can ‘from the car twitching’ be countenanced? Nothing is straightforward.

My own ‘seen from the car’ highlights that spring to mind include a White Stork circling over the ARC pit at Dungeness and a Black Kite that was drifting along the coast at St. Mary’s Bay. Both were seen from a moving car and hadn’t been seen before. The first mentioned sighting was a triumph for the invention of sun-roofs. The second involved a hard-braking manoeuvre that Starsky and Hutch would have been proud of (if you’re under 45, you might need to Google them).

Now I think of it, I’ve also seen Cattle Egret and Great White Egret from the car, but there again, in the Dungeness area, who hasn’t. Oh, and Caspian and Glaucous Gulls. Plus Yellow-browed Warbler. I could go on, but to do it properly I need to sit down with a checklist and start-up the memory banks. I’ve just remembered an Isabelline Shrike at Sandwich Bay! I’m enjoying this!!

See what you’ve started Mark!

12 comments:

  1. Gawd, what is it with you guys and lists, you're PC's must be full of different spreadsheets for different lists.
    I imagine that listing from a car is perfectly acceptable and understandable for a handicapped person but for anyone else, it smacks of many things.

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    1. Derek, to me it smacks of having a bit of fun...

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    1. I don't see this small font Stewart, but others see it when I post my copy by 'cutting and pasting' from the 'Notes' app. Will try to avoid this in future.

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  3. Don't drive, but I claim a little egret from the Nottingham train!

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    1. Oh, that reminds me Simon, I used to have a train list!

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  5. Now that is funny Steve. So far we've had car lists, train lists, bicycle lists - the list of lists could be endless.

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  6. Just thought of the birds that I saw for the very first time from a car. Grey Heron in 1968, Kestrels on motorways, obviously. How about Golden Oriole (London), Short EO, Montagu's Harrier, Black Kite?

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    1. I'd say that has the basis for a very competitive list Ric...

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  7. I've seen a Golden Eagle from a train - can I have that one? A nightmare 36-hour journey from Reggio Calabria to Berlin (which was 8 hours late) was instantly transformed...

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    1. Yes Max, you can have that - so your list moves up to one. Plenty of scope for addition!

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