Friday, May 30, 2008

The early birder

I haven't been thrashing the patch as much as an east coast May really warrants. Pressures of life and all that. Plus it's been a bit shit, tbh. However news of a Red-backed Shrike at Cove Community Woodland yesterday had me in hives with guilt. Also I really fancy Icterine Warbler for my patch list, so hauled my sorry ass out of bed at 5 am to go find my own. This was in spite of having to use Diane's nockies, on account of leaving mine in work last night. Got to the top of St Anne's track, bursting for a pee, and while urinating in a public place there was a bird noise impacting on me. Song Thrush, no, not that, there's a Common Whitethroat, but it's not that. Sedge Warbler singing. nope. Willow Warbler...very interesting, but that's not what's setting the alarms and claxons off in my head. P*ss off Blackbirds etc. I walked round the corner a little bit, and from the Japanese knotweed and gorse by the stone bridge I was assaulted by OhmyGod OhmyGod OhmyGod!! Marsh Warbler! Argh! A Scottish mainland Marshie. Not a common sight. Mind, it was still not a common sight in Newtonhill at that point, cos I couldn't see it. Very close, but hiding. And then I started to panic cos weird questions started in my head like, 'Why isn' it an Icky?', and not having heard either of them singing for a few years, there was no obvious answers except that it was obviously a marshie, with the tempo and the mimicry and the whoaaaaaa!!!! take a breath! more mimicry.

So with a bit of contortionism I started to see bits of the bird in stages... yes, it's a plain Acro, dark eye, obvious super , especially in above and in front of the eye, cold colours, no a rufous rump, long undertail coverts, oooh... wings (always a good sign), but can't quite get the primary tips, but look OK. Whiter throat, contrasting wih upper buffy breast. At no point did it come out in the open, and it wasn't singing all the time, which didn't help, but when it did open its gob it was obvious. Last saw it at about 7 am when I had to head to work.

More later... Friday night protocol demands that I go spend my salary rehydrating, but will scan the usual high quality biro field notes at some point

Like this...


Alastair said...

Nice one Martin, but where's the RememberBird recording and all that?

Martin said...

like my nockies, it was in work, probably idly draining its battery