Saturday, October 21, 2006


First things first. I repeat I do not particularly want to see any bird harmed... but I have to admit I did find this the teeensiest bit funny. Even if not funny, it has to be the best Note ever printed in BB. I would have paid good money to see that. Brit. Birds 60, 304-5 (1967)

I went out on Thursday pm round Newtonhill, but it was a bit of a wash-out - I was soaked. for the sake of 2 Blackcaps at the top of the track, and a Dipper on the Elsick Burn. Got home and stuck my army coat in the hallway to moulder, and scope in the cupboard.

Today, Saturday, out playing with the kiddies in the back garden, listening for rocking Phylloscopi, when a skein of 35 Pink-footed Geese approach from the north, calling. Aha, thinks me, I'll nip in get my scratched bins and maybe an atmospheric recording of pinkies flying over via RememBird. Bins up, and bloody hell, the one at the front is a Canada Goose. Patch tick! That might sound stupid to pampered birders with crappy boating lake patches in Manchester or such-like, but they're a bit of a rarity here. Then I remember.... shit! We've split them! Oh, the irony! Now I'm going to lose my patch tick if I can't identify this goose, 800 m up, against a blue sky. Bollocks. Well, actually, it's noticably bigger than the pinkies. Not hugely bigger, but definitely bigger. That'll have to do. I'll call it a Greater Canada Goose...

I'm inspired to go out round the patch before tea. Ach! My coat is still wet, but I put it on anyway in the hope it'll dry. Ach! again! and argh!!!! moreover Aieeeeeee!!!! My scope has got water in. And not for the first time. I've warned it before, but this really is the last straw. You know the bit in Fawlty Towers where Basil loses patience with his car and goes off to find a big stick to hit it with? (Non-UK based bloggees might not know about this - it's really very funny). Well, that was me. I thrashed it and thrashed it. Scratched bins and a scope full of rainwater. Marvellous. I took my scope apart and left it on the radiator, and went out without it.

Fortunately (?) it wasn't needed. 3 perfidious Blackcaps and a single Goldcrest in the elders at the top of the track gave false hope of things being about, but the Mill Garden had only 1 more Blackcap, and some concerted pishing, clapping, booting and throwing stones only forced one Common Chiffchaff out of hiding. Ooooh, how much do I wish it had been a Radde's?? Still need that, and very jealous of this and this
It was downhill from there, if that were possible, but to my credit I did keep going til dusk, which is a bit of a rarity for me. Clear night tonight, so I hope some birds are on the move. Inwards, I mean. There's not a lot left to move out.

Evening. I've ordered a new scope. A waterproof one. :-)

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