Sunday 9 December 2012

Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll in Suffolk

Finally, some birding, and a day out! Started with an early morning and high tide wader count at Rainham - just one segment of a count undertaken by several people to try and simultaeneously survey all of the roost sites along the Thames with the aim of preserving the disused piers they like to get on. Rainham wasn't a great success in ecological terms, with one Dunlin, two Black-tailed Godwits, and a Snipe. I recommend building houses on it.

Once done with the wader, err sorry, waders, Nick, Bradders and I headed off to filthily twitch the Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll in Suffolk, as the title of this post suggests. As expected, a brilliant bird and a complete star. Diagnostic features included a complete and utter disregard for any birder or photographer, no matter how close they were, although it took exception to one particular birder with an earring and white socks, and gave him a thorough going over.

Death by Redpoll
Oh, sorry, you were expecting photos of the bird? Oh go on then...... By the way, I am struggling hugely with getting photos to display at the right width on this blog. I'm a big fan of big photos, photos that look nice. I hate little itty bitty photos that you can't see what they are. In my enthusiasm for super-sizing, it's become apparent that sometimes you, the reader, only see a tiny tiny fraction of the photo, the rest being cut off. For instance in the photo above you might only get the birders on the left and completely miss Lee flat on his face after being floored by a large Redpoll. Rest assured I am trying to fix this, but being pretty unsavvy in all matters html, am struggling rather - this evening for instance the wonderfully informative sidebar has disappeared to the bottom of this blog.... I'm trying to get it back. Oh, the Redpoll? Er, yeah. Here.


  1. That,s up there with the very best 'Lee' pictures ever, sod the copyright I'm having that on the fridge!

  2. Ooh, fabulous bird, fabulous photos. (Though the bird is the complete ornithological opposite of that turquoise mot-mot.) Also the first one is hilarious even though I can only guess at the joke.

  3. The joke, Laurel, is a loooong story indeed! I will not attempt to tell it here, suffice it to say that the man flat on is face is the most well-known/successful/notorious/vilified/satirised twitchers in this country, and the subject of countless debates, argumements, rants, stories. He lives to see rare birds, to keep lists of rare birds (his and others!), and is seemingly omnipresent. He doesn't want to just see one rare bird, he wants to see ALL rare birds. I am sure I have mentioned him before, look for a post called something like "the list of lists"