Sunday 16 October 2011

Filling my Boots

Just got in from a great day out, and I need to breathlessly tell you all about it. Except I'm too tired as I woke up at 5:30am, and have driven 360 miles whilst birding twitching in three counties, and now need to go sleep again as I have a lot to do tomorrow, starting with taking not three but five children to school.

Seven-striped Sprite. Mmmm mmmm.

In summary, I saw a lot of good birds, but the distances between them were not small. There were ticks of many kinds. A Booted Warbler at Landguard was an ever, anywhere tick. A Glossy Ibis and Pallas's Warbler in Essex were Essex ticks (obviously). Of these three birds, two were year ticks for the list I'm not keeping this year, as was a stunning adult Isabelline Shrike in Kent. Always go see Shrikes. At the moment I am more often than not sticking to this rule and it is proving extremely worthwhile.

The Booted Warbler was not obvious, even when showing extremely well. Many on site, no doubt desperate for it to be a Sykes's, were talking it into one. I never thought so, mainly because Booted was the one I needed. Need, who am I kidding? What a stupid use of the word need, birding terminology is rubbish sometimes. Anyway, the one I hadn't seen. Tertials this, primaries that. Nonsense. The bird was beigy-brown, which made it a Booted. The Sykes's I saw on Shetland was grey. Easy. I taught Nils all he knows.

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