It was 37 years ago today...

The 1976 Beddington Bluethroat - the stuff of legend

October 10th 1976 will always be a special day for me. It was a Sunday, and I spent the day at Beddington Sewage Farm. During this time I was a keen bird ringer, under the tutelage of Ken Parsley and Mike Netherwood. If I remember correctly it was a mild, overcast and dry day. We had set up a number of single panel mist nets in an area of fat-hen, that was attracting finches to feed upon. We had got into our normal routine - a couple of us would go and check the nets every ten minutes or so whilst the third would sit guarding our rucksacks and ringing equipment a short distance away. By early afternoon we had enjoyed moderate success, mainly trapping Greenfinches.

I was left back at base, Mike and Ken having gone off on a net round. After a few minutes they returned, Mike holding a single bird bag and with a big grin on his face.

"Bet you can't tell me what species of bird I've got in here?"

"Bluethroat!" I confidently replied, absolutely no idea why I had blurted out that particular species.

And it was!

I've since wondered whether the birding Gods were looking down on this scene at the time, and decided that, whatever the young ringer guessed at, they would provide it. If that was the case I should have said "Rufous Bush Chat"! Maybe I missed a chance...


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