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!