Thursday 16 October 2014

Mega Twitch, Mega Twitcher

It is somewhat scandalous that I have managed to see a hundred species on the patch this year, but that is precisely what has just happened. Nick, still mentally on Shetland by the looks of things, found a probable Lapland Bunting near Alex this morning, and with Richard soon on the scene, nailed it on the deck. All previous records have been flyovers, hardly satisfactory (especially reading about them!), so to have one pootling around in the long grass all day is simply amazing. Of course I was at work and having to vicariously enjoy a succession of low-listing London glitterati trekking over to the Flats to enjoy stunning views. By three in the afternoon I was more-or-less a broken man, and by about quarter past four I had cracked, made my excuses, and was en route home, typing furiously on my Blackberry. Although I had no bins, the school run car does conceal a pair of cheapies, and with this parked close to the tube it wasn't long until I was in action in the long grass.

Dan and Tony had fortuitously relocated it approximately ten seconds before I arrived, and with its last known spot pinned down, we all enjoyed great views more or less immediately. Well, except Dan who had brought his Fisher Price binoculars by mistake. Tony hadn't even managed that, but with laser-like vision gained from a week on Shetland was still enjoying cracking close-ups. The three of us drank it up for a few minutes before parting ways, Dan to release a few Waders for tomorrow morning, and Tony and I back home. Where, and in case any senior colleagues are reading, I subsequently logged back on, did all the stuff I needed to do, and had a really long conference call on September Month-end capital figures with a couple of the team. Highs are frequently followed by lows I guess. Sorry, I mean one good thing usually leads to another.

So, ton up, belying a spectacular lack of effort this year. My contributions to patch listing have been a solitary bird, crap views of a very likely Hoopoe that I am not even planning to submit, never seen again and that nobody else saw. You get tons of credibility from records like this..... Anything else that was remotely decent I twitched. That said, patch twitching is the best kind of twitching, as it takes up zero time, zero petrol (mostly!), and basically zero effort. You can't put a price on that!

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