Sunday, November 23, 2008

Delicious and dangerous patch ticks.

Well what happened? This time last week we were trying to squeeze the last drops of Siberia out of the autumn. And then ka-boom overnight it was Siberia here. Newtonhill was transformed into something almost, but not quite, entirely unlike a winter wonderland.

That said, I love it when the birds are fighting for their lives. And it brought me a garden tick in the form of one of these Long-tailed Tits that has been kicking around. I caught it pecking my fat balls (OOoooooohhhhhhh, matron!). Birding was otherwise disrupted by a) having to build a snowman

and b) having to sloosh out the carpets after Peter had spent the night vomiting copiously over everything I own, including the file of 'family memorobilia', from which I need to salvage as much as I can. Poor Lizzie is so vomitophobic that she came birding with me before lunch rather than sit in the same house as Peter. We didn't see a lot really, except there was a constant stream of Eurasian Skylarks flying over, going south. We met Matt, who said there was a Snow Bunting in the stubble field with a big flock of Skylarks. And wowsers! It was a big flock of Skylarks - about 300 birds, and with another 300 or so flying off, my A-level Further Mathematics suggsts that's about 600 birds in all. Plus all the others going over without stopping. And yes, one of the birds flying south was the, or another Snow Bunting. Patch tick. Gooooodddd. Better... as we walked back home, among the Black-headed Gulls, Starlings and sundry other things going overhead, a Eurasian Woodcock! Another patch tick.

So, I spend most of the afternoon messing about. But I came across some old drawings. In my youth I tried to be an artist. Which was a shame, cos I'm no artist, but I could be a draftsman. Anyway, here's some rare birds I tried to draw.

1991 Waxham Lark Sparrow. Obviously not a stowaway.

1991 St Andrews Chimney Swift, with a Common Swift.
A very unconvincing representation.

1989/90 Holkham Red-breasted Nuthatch.
With the passage of time, this is the only one that works for me.


Rick Wright said...

I like 'em all, actually!
How often do you get snow like that??

Martin said...


Snow... not as often as you might think. 3 or 4 times a winter it might do this to us, but it never lasts.

Fraser Simpson said...

Like the drawings! You should have kept at it.