Sunday, 21 December 2008

Twitch and be Damned

Today I was going to twitch, I knew when I woke before dawn. Enough of this patch-beating, I want some ticks! And there were some birds within reach that would be good targets, starting with a small flock of Waxwings that arrived yesterday by B&Q in Folkestone.

There were still in the same tree when I got there, and flew down to some road-side Rowans. I was pleased to meet Brian of the 'Isn't Nature Brilliant' local website, who tries to take good photos....we all try, he succeeds.
If they stay around, I may be able to see them in reasonable light.

Next, to Hythe to see the much-twitched Night Heron, which was conveniently placed by the dam as usual. It stayed for a while, then was spooked by a dog-walker shouting into her mobile.
Next, down to Lade gravel pits to tick a female Long-Tailed Duck, and fail to find a Scaup. At the Hanson pit were one male and seven redhead Smews, and a Goosander. One particular gull stood alone, and having no shame I'm putting it down as a Yellow-legged - well, it is December. And it did have yellow legs and a bright beak.

Back towards home via Walland marsh, where there was a flock of swans by the Tree Sparrow barn - fortunately a birder with telescope was there to pick out twenty Bewicks and two Whoopers among the Mutes.

Finally, back to B&Q, where the Waxwings were now outnumbered two-to-one by twitchers. Many interesting people were met during the morning, from as far as Southampton and Northampton - maybe twitching's not that bad after all.

PS Waxwings and Long-Tailed Duck were both 'lifers'!


Warren Baker said...

I'm still hoping for a waxwing steve. I suppose I would have a chance if there were any berries on my patch!
Some good species for you today, well twitched !!

Greenie said...

Steve ,
Sounds like a really good away day .

ramblingwoods said...

They would be lifers for me too. Glad you were able to get them and the photos are great...About me laying on my back in the snow post on my blog..I have to laugh. I have MS and fall frequently so I decided to laugh about it..But it was a different kind of view at the sky..LOL

cpev said...

A good day indeed Steve. A spot of occasional county-wide twitching is a good thing. It stops the twitchy build-up from reaching charter-a-plane-to-Fair-Isle proportions.

And Waxwings are the business. I didn't even have my glasses on this morning when I saw mine; your pictures are helping to make up for it :-)

Mary said...

Congratulations on the lifers! I've never gotten a good photo of a waxwing...those are great. Lovely Night Heron, too. I ran across one of those dog walking, cellphone shouters the other day, too at the wetlands (made me want to push him into the water) You'll have to twitch more often :-)