Tuesday, 19 September 2017

About to crack

There's only so much worthiness you can feel and servitude you can bestow towards a dry inland birding patch. Bloody-mindedness, obstinacy and a big dollop of wishful thinking are prerequisites to be able to maintain a regular presence, but, believe me, they can all come to a shuddering halt, and the way things are that might just happen soon.

A dawn start at Priest Hill in a murky calm smelt of birds, and on entering the reserve there were plenty of calling Robins and the odd 'cheeping' Chiffchaff, but three hours later that was about it - 35+ Robins and 10 Chiffchaffs. The autumn here so far has been a hard slog for little reward. An early lunch and a check on what was going on elsewhere (the best being Yellow-browed Warbler at Elephant and Castle and a Blyth's Reed Warbler at Sandwich Bay) set me up for an afternoon at Canons Farm. Better than this morning, but it was still hard work. As is often the way with this site, just as I was about to give up there was a pulse of birds overhead - a flock of 60 House Martin wheeling about with a Peregrine and eight Common Buzzards. A further hour's skywatching added little else of note. A couple of female Stonechats tried to seduce me as I left the farm, but there's no doubt that I need a booster injection of avian surprise. It isn't happening locally, so I may need to wander further afield...

11 comments:

  1. Time for a trip to the shingle Steve.

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  2. I have learned recently that 'worthiness' is a poor attribute for a human. You can spend the rest of yours days dillegently searching your patch and get aroused by your first coal tit or coot, but life really is too short for that. I now keep an open mind and do whatever I fancy doing on my birding days. If I am in patch mode, I flog it, if I am envious of someone elses birds, I'll go and see them with not one ounce of regret. Once you get this frame of mind sorted, every day can be enjoyable, just go with the flow!

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    1. Dalai Sexton, you talk much sense. I know you are right, but it wouldn't be me unless I shoved a bit of angst in there, would it?

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  3. On the note above, I have just clicked on Devil Birders blog on your side bar and find that he has finished work and in his valuable spare time is twitching the Sedge Warbler on the farm. Now, for a patcher, this is understandable, but lets just stand back and view through the window... its a Sedgie. The world will not end without seeing that individual. Now if at the time, this is his idea of birding utopia, then great, stake it out, flog it and burn it up, but if there is one single atom of 'why am I doing this' its time to go to where you would want yourself to be and enjoy it...

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    1. I refer to my response above... By the way, at the same patch a number of birders twitched a Moorhen. True.

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  4. Well good for them...for me, time could be better spent with lots of moorhens and god knows what else..

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  5. You may need to wander further afield - on the frontspiece of the original Field Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe by Peterson, Mountfort and Hollom is the wonderful mention - TO OUR LONG SUFFERING WIVES - "she laments, sir... her husband goes this morning a-birding"
    Shakespeare - Merry Wives of Windsor

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  6. Have you considered Shetland. Only several hundred pounds to get there!

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