Strange visions last night....
Wanstead was all iced up in the morning, and as usual I was checking the various ponds for rare waterfowl. I checked the Basin, which mirroring reality had nothing much on it. Heronry was a little better though, with a couple of female Pintail. Awesome, and a patch tick. I wandered out onto the little peninsula at the end of Perch Pond, and found a load of women playing football on the water. Yes, on the water, I have no idea how. They were just normal women, dressed normally, nothing kinky going on. The ball came over my way, so I kicked it back to them. The next time I looked they had all metamorphosised into ducks. I found a way to cross a part of the pond that is normally water - dreams are great aren't they - saving five minutes walking back around the pond, and starting scanning through them. The football had finished and the pond was now covered in birds, really densely packed. In no time at all I picked up a male Pintail in the melee, and also a couple of Wigeon (year tick). Then I found a Golden Plover, another patch tick. It was just swimming around, y'know, like they do, but the ID was beyond doubt. Then over the far side I managed to pick out a redhead Smew, another patch tick. By this time I was seeing stuff very clearly. Three other birders then turned up with scopes, clearly realising that something good was happening. I don't know who they are, and they don't match any of the local birders, but I have a feeling I have seen them before, but this could just be that weird sense of deja-vu that sometimes occurs in dreamland, or maybe when you wake up and remember the dream you get a bit confused. Anyway, I tried to get them on the Smew, but had trouble relocating it, but that didn't matter for I then found a cracking summer-plumaged Red-throated Diver! Another patch tick, and a London tick. Even in my dreams I know what type of tick a neurally created vision of a bird is - do I need professional help? At this point I took a break to be able to broadcast the news, and I remember being totally flumoxed as to what I should do first. I had seen so much that a text would take ages to type out, it was really cold don't forget, and I would have had to take my gloves off, plus I remember thinking that predictive text would have really struggled with Smew. So I decided to call them but just at that moment Hawky called me, so I told him what a superb morning I had had and that my Wanstead year list was now 102 from 97 in the space of about 20 minutes. Before I could work out what my new Wanstead and London list totals were I woke up. Probably a good thing, God knows what I would have found next.
All of this is true, I have written it as I remembered it this morning after I woke up. So where does it come from? I've never really thought one of my dreams through before, but there's blogging for you. It's pretty interesting actually how you can link specific elements of a dream to events in real life.
Things I can work out.
- It is really cold and icy here, so that seems pretty obvious.
- I have been checking all the ponds for rare ducks, though not with as stunning results.
- I have really been hoping to find a Wigeon or Smew, and Golden Plover is another hoped for, though as a flyover.
- There is currently a day-glo yellow football lodged in some submerged branches at the end of Perch pond. I had a close look at it the other day with a view to seeing if it was worth retrieving, but a strip of leather has come off so I didn't bother.
- Yesterday on the bus I made a "group" on my phone of all the local birders so I can more easily disseminate news. Up until now I was adding each one on every text I sent.
- I was out with Hawky last night.
Things that I can't work out.
- The football match. I have no interest in football.
- A load of women turning into ducks. There is perhaps something Freudian occuring here but I think it is best not to delve any further.
- Their ability, and mine, to walk on water.
- Pintail and Red-throated Diver. Not even on my list of potentials, totally left field.
- The three other birders. I could describe each one, but I cannot place any of them in reality. Yet in the dream they were familiar to me, not by name, but I had seen them looking at the Perch pond before.
So there you have it, the inner workings of my subconscious laid bare. Just in case the Birding Gods might have been trying to tell me something, as per my Shoveler experience a few weeks ago, on the way back from school I checked the Basin, Heronry and Perch ponds to see if there was anything truly fantastical going on. There wasn't. A perhaps simpler explanation for the wacky goings-on is that I was out at the pub last night with a load of birders and drank a lot of beer.
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