Tuesday, 16 January 2018

A post of increasingly bad puns

My best 2018 blogging intentions already went out the window – I started strongly but was unable to maintain the pace, even with dragging out a two hour photography session into three posts! Of course the issue, as ever, is that I have nothing much to say that I have not already said. The mind-numbing stupidity of those in the corridors of power continues to astound and worry me in equal measure, but as this is supposed to be a birding blog I had best not stray. Also if I have learned anything through writing a blog for many years it is that when it comes to politics and current affairs it is impossible to write something without offending some part of your readership. Or maybe it is the way I write it? Not that I have ever paid too much heed to surpressing my feelings on contentious issues, but on the whole writing about birds remains a relatively neutral and easy-going topic that doesn’t ruffle too many feathers. Sorry, that was terrible. A bit like “twitchers flock to rare bird” headlines, you can understand I could not pass it up.

So birds then. Well I am pleased to report that 2018 has started rather well in local context, and that not only does my patch list now stand at 67 with many straightforward birds such as Skylark and GBB Gull left, but also that I have already had a full fat patch tick. Some quick thinking and more importantly decisive action allowed me to quickly nab Tim’s fantastic Great White Egret on Perch Pond. An on-the-deck sighting of this species has long been overdue – a few fly-overs seen by others have to my mind not been conclusive, particularly in light of one record where an image was circulated online that people widely agreed was a GWE, only for a bit of tinkering with the levels to expose bright yellow feet! Albino Grey Herons are also not unknown! This bird however left those lucky enough to see it in no doubt, and my unorthodox and rather expensive lunch hour means I am included in that rather exclusive list. Clearly one of the Fairlop birds having a bit of a wander, it stayed all day but unfortunately has not been seen since. I am sure there will be more and that this is just the beginning, just as Little Egret was many years ago, but that said I am pleased to have got it out of the way early! Je n’egret rien, as someone once sang.

Phone photo in a big hurry!

The Egret took me to 62 species for the year, and so this weekend was all about a further clean-up. I added Tawny Owl in Reservoir Wood at about 3am on Friday whilst on my way to catch the night bus to get to Gatwick, and then on my return yesterday I nipped out to the Park to retrace the Saturday steps of all my fellow patch-workers. Time had more or less stood still in that regard, the Water Rail was still calling on Shoulder of Mutton, the Kingfisher was still sitting on Heronry, the Siskin were still feeding by the Tea Hut, and the Great Crested Grebe was still on Perch. However – and seeing as this post already littered with bad puns - it is with no Little Egret that there was no little regret. I'll get my coat.


Late Edit: The GWE returned today and was similarly twitched by another CW stalwart. I like to set trends, even stupid ones.

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