My decent(ish) finds in Feb 2012: 1 Yellow-browed Warbler Carnon Downs 04/02, 1 Water Pipit Carnon Downs 04/02, 1 Smew Loe Pool 01/02

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Thursday, 14 October 2010

Pied Wheatear find


Two days later than anticipated, due to flight-cancellation, Thor Veen, Arjen VantHoff and myself finally managed to board a flight to the Scillies. My first visit there – so I was quite excited. On Tuesday the 12th of October, Thor and I set off to circumnavigate the great Isle of St Mary’s (Arjen had already returned home by that stage). Avoiding crowds of people as much as possible, but nevertheless stumbling across the RB Fly and Little Buntings without really trying, we were reminded of just how much easier it is to twitch birds than find them yourself.

By mid-afternoon, the previous week of non-stop birding and a dose of man-flu were taking their toll on me and I stopped to restock on caffeine and food while the Thorminator continued his quest to scour every bush and blade of grass on St Mary’s.  Perhaps inevitably if you believe in Karma, but certainly confirmation the expression “no pain no gain”, I received a phone call from Thor stating he’d briefly seen a possible Pied Wheatear on the Golf Course, but hadn’t been able to clinch it before flew off north towards the BBC mast.  At that time, he was wholly unaware of the reports of a possible from the same area, although I’d managed to glean the gist of the story from a mate. At his request, I pegged it down in a taxi ASAP to offer help relocating it.  Fortunately we were able to do so as, after half an hour or so, the bird obligingly popped up in front of Thor. After reeling off a few photos as the bird happily fed a few metres away from us, and offering scope views to some of the lucky birders who happened to be nearby but without scope, we phoned it out and anticipated the impending pandemonium with amusement. I was particularly impressed with the guy in the bright red jacket who waddled towards it as fast as his lard-arse would carry him and promptly re-phoned RBA in an authoritative voice confirming the identity and location. Evidently, young rapscallions such as ourselves, can't be trusted to impart such information correctly.

Cracking find and cracking photo by Thor. Good work fella!

Sunday, 10 October 2010

The multi-coloured megalarious

There seems to be a lot of debate surrounding the merits of punkbirder twaddlespeak at the moment (see here and here).  Here’s a brief insight into our experience of using such language on unsuspecting passers-by:

Random passer-by at Cot Valley: what are you looking for?
Me: nothing in particular, we’re just seeing what’s about.
Random passer-by at Cot Valley: that’s nice.
Thor (in Dutch-accented, punkbirder speak): Mega rare!
Random passer-by at Cot Valley: really? Where is that from then?
Thor:  America.....
Random passer-by at Cot Valley: really. What colour is it then?
Thor:..or Siberia, hopefully
Random passer-by at Cot Valley (to husband): here - they're looking...what did you call it again? A megalarious? Apparently it's brightly coloured.
Me: hmmm...I don’t think he meant one particularly species...he was referring to rare birds in general.
Random passer-by at Cot Valley: Oh. I see. Well that's a big lens you've got!

Anyway. Needless to say, we didn't find the multi-coloured megalarious, and had to settle for some more more drabbly coloured mesolarious instead:

Found at about 8am in 60 foot cover at Porthgwarra. Also needless to say, given that these photos are really pretty good, Thor took them.

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