Monday 20 May 2013

Garden Tickery

In addition to my brilliance at driving to Margate and seeing yet another bird that somebody else found, I've also been putting in the hard yards in the garden. Drinking tea early morning is pretty tough going, and as for sitting around in the sunshine listening to TMS, well, frankly I'm a modern-day hero. My dedication has paid off however, with two garden/house ticks in three days, one each side of the completely genetically pure Duskyish Thrush.

Friday morning was #80. I had been going great guns since about 6ish, and with thoughts of breaking my personal garden best (not that I would ever be so sad as to record that*) I noticed two ducks coming in from the north. Bins up and they looked pretty white, but disappeared behind some trees before I could nail them. In nervous excitement I swung to the other side of the trees where I predicted they would reappear, which they duly did and were Shelducks. Superb, long-awaited, and if I'm honest fairly likely. Whilst watching Shelduck from Wanstead Flats, on numerous occasions I've been struck (and annoyed by) the line they appeared to be taking. Today that promise came good, albeit in the other direction.

I don't think I took a single photo of anything on Sunday, so here is another of the Cuckoo at Reculver
So, come Sunday, and having spent the entire previous day triumphantly wandering around Kent, I felt that the best place to be was at home en famille. The test match was on, and heading towards a rather thrilling conclusion. The sun was out, a less serious version of cricket was taking place in the garden, and it was all rather pleasant. Had a rarity been reported anywhere beyond about five minutes away, I doubt I'd have moved. As it turned out I didn't need to. On Friday morning I'd thought I'd heard the final phrase of Lesser Whitethroat, you know, the rattley bit, as opposed to the starting scratchy bit. It was very distant, from the direction of Bush Wood, and I couldn't in all good conscience rule out a phrase of Chaffinch. I was still highly suspicious though, even more so when on Sunday morning Nick reported Lesser Whitethroat from Bush Wood. Anyway, at some point during the day I heard it again, but closer, and this time I was even more convinced. Typically though it was only once so I carried on bowling, and may have succumbed to the temptation of chilled Rosé. I finally nailed it about an hour later when I heard the entire song coming from about four gardens away. #81. I let Tim know, as he lives pretty close, and it later transpired that Bob got it from his house as well - so three happy local birders. It continued to sing in brief bursts for the whole rest of the day, and I'm pleased to report that the entire family, man, woman and child(ren) got to hear it. Not that they keep garden lists of course. And naturally I don't keep garden lists for them....

*32. I didn't top this - the lunch break I had been hoping for never materialised, and I remained on 27 with several notable and easy omissions.

1 comment:

  1. Good to see you at the weekend but hey, get off the patch. Who do you think you are nicking shots like that!