Monday 8 February 2010

Can I go somewhere warm please?

It's snowing again. I'm fed up with it. Pudding and I tried going for a walk this morning out at East Tilbury, where there were Shorelarks and also a playground, but it was too miserable to do anything other than struggle back to the car. We had met up with Paul, Lisa and Jack to look for them, but after twenty minutes of a bitter wind, and extreme push-chair mudplugging, we decided that discretion was the better part of valour and went home. Meanwhile the Shorelarks were back in Kent...

I'm sitting here thinking about Des Murs' Wiretail. Des Murs' Wiretail is a small South-American passerine that is mostly tail. It's like an extreme Long-tailed tit - 8cm of bird, and 16cm of tail. Whilst birding early one morning along the Argentinean border with Chile, I found one squeaking in a bush near the Araucaria stands. I had no idea what it was when I heard it, a fairly good idea what it was once I managed to see it, and a complete idea of what is was once I had leafed through the field guide. It was one of those brilliant birding abroad moments when you find a new bird completely off your own bat, with no starting knowledge at all. You can't beat it, and I love birding abroad. On the road yesterday, we talked a bit about world birding, and some recent trips that John had been on, which is why I'm now reminiscing about Des Murs' Wiretail. I don't even have a photo of it, I was entranced and it slipped away before I even thought about finding the camera. All I know is that I want to go birding abroad again, I don't care where really, I just want to be dropped in the deep end somewhere, with a field guide and some bins, and I'll make my own way. Obviously with three children and no income, trips of this kind are now pure fantasy. However if someone would like to pay for me to go birding abroad and then tell them about it, I'll make the child-care arrangements. Please can it be somewhere warm though?

The Wiretail was down here...

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