Saturday 7 May 2011

Back to Brown (aka The Patch)

I was up and out by 5.30 this morning. Considering the somewhat beery previous evening, this was pretty miraculous. A good start immediately when I could hear a singing Whitethroat from the front door. Whitethroat is only a very recent addition to the garden list. I was going to blog about it and many other things last week but then suddenly lost the will to live. I'm ready now, so backtracking a little, I had gone out early morning, and as soon I hit the Flats there was a Whitethroat singing very loudly and insistently from the top of some broom. I had walked past it a little when that weird little (though possibly quite large) part of my brain responsible for lists of things kicked into action and told other parts of me like my legs that it might just be possible to hear it from the front of the house, and thus sneak it onto the garden list. Being the cool, sophisticated guy that I am, unruffled by such trivialities, I naturally hurried straight back home and was delighted to find out that my listing brain was quite correct, and that the scratchy notes of a Whitethroat could indeed be heard with one foot on my front drive. Kerching, as they say. I composed a blog post there and then in my head about this glorious triumph of idiocy over common sense, and then did nothing with it, but you were not to be denied it seems.

I digress. This morning I opened the front door, and heard it straight away as there was no traffic at all. Whilst this is not a tick for the reasons very recently outlined above, it is only the second time that Whitethroat has been recorded from the garden. If I were some kind of sad lister, that would mean that I could remove the italics from Whitethroat on my garden list.

Er, be right back....

Anyway, brown. Glorious, glorious brown, everywhere. Yellow, heh! Blue, heh! A Jedi UK Patch-worker craves not these things! The Whitethroat was happily browny. Then, on Alexandra Lake, there were two Reed Warblers. I couldn't see either of them, but I was content in the knowledge that they were dull brown birds. Mmmmm, brown. Some movement on the side of the lake, and a brown and white Common Sandpiper became two brown and white Common Sandpipers, raising the pulse but then immediately calming it with sensations of beige and bland. I sighed a sigh of pure satisfaction, and some plain brown Swifts screamed overhead. This is more like it! None of those fancy little exotic Dendroicas, wooing me with their gaudy cheap colours, appealing to my baser senses. No! Back to London patch-birding, with its insipid and non-descript birds. How soothing!

One of the Sandpipers was extremely confiding. If you have had an unusually exciting day for whatever reason, perhaps having looked at some Yellow Wagtails for far longer than is healthy, please gaze at it for a while until you feel normal again.

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