Friday 24 July 2015

Twitching and Seething

So what's been going on? Obviously there is never a dull moment at Chateau L, but there's not a lot to tell. This week however has been punctuated by two momentous twitches. Well, one momentous, one semi-pleasing. The first was a Green Sandpiper on the deck. Although it was my 5th Green Sand of the year (following the mega-flock this spring), this one counts for way more as it was in the Park, which was a first for me, and on the deck, which was also a first for me here. Discovered by Dan Dan the Wader Man on Tuesday morning, it stayed all day and allowed for a last minute twitch. On the way there I met Bob returning from twitching it, and rather than pass like ships in the night he came along for seconds, during which I learned that its peerless finder is leaving us for pastures new! Please tell us it is not so?! And if it is, please make sure to release some extra-special waders (or ducks) from your magic satchel before you go! The bird was pottering away on some pretty tasty looking mud on the side of Shoulder of Mutton pond - our best pond - and showed very well indeed. It's number something for the Park. There, I'm that chilled these days.

On the way back from this special event, we learned of a Little Owl on Wanstead Flats, and so our date for the following evening was fixed. Never, on a Wednesday night in summer, go to Wanstead Flats on your own. Despite being two, we gave Long Wood a wide berth and plonked ourselves down next to Centre Copse, where Crofty had heard a call the previous night. A dog-walker immediately walked under the tree. Then a couple of guys with rucksacks. Then another dog-walker. It was unbelievable quite how many people were wandering around out there! Gradually it quietened down, but of the Owl there was no sign or sound, so we upped sticks and headed off for a circuit of the other copses. Halfway towards East Copse the Owl called four or five times from where we had just been. The hooty version of "yeah, piss off and good riddance". Still, on the list, despite the abusive tone. Amazingly that puts me at 95 for the year, with millions of birds still to see. I should manage 100 with no trouble at all, especially as I have practically no foreign trips planned for the rest of the year.

The seething? Well mainly that's because the Government are basically trying to kill everything that they can see and a probably a few things they can't. Bees, foxes, birds of prey (by virtue of gross inaction), badgers, you name it it's in their sights. I've signed a few petitions and written to my MP, but we've got close to five more years of this and the terrible thing is that I just knew it would be like this. I'm not saying Labour or anyone else would have been a night and day difference, but the Conservatives are truly appalling. I had planned a long rant, but as I'm sitting here thinking about it I'm just too depressed to type. Bastards.

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