Friday 3 April 2020

Lady Duck is on my side

After the crushing disappointment of being allowed to put Common Scoter on the overall patch list but not on my own patch list, I knew I had to try again. Happily lightning did in this instance strike twice and there was another movement of birds overnight - Twitter went into overdrive with birders all over the country adding the hashtag #nocmig to their messages. The movement was earlier this time, but I was primed and ready. My bucket was out.

At 2306 this happened. 

(again, volume UP!)

I could scarcely believe it! More birds than my previous record, although I don't suppose I will ever be able to tell how many. But just one is enough in this game! There was a further and less distinct set of calls about 15 minutes later, but this is the better recording. I have got out my metaphorical notebook and my special indelible pen, and INKED IT IN!

I stayed up listening for a while, but got too cold and tired, thus missing the Coot that had a bit of a fly around at 2am. I have a cunning plan though, which I tested briefly yesterday. The little sound recorder I have appropriated from Mrs L has a headphone socket. My bluetooth headphones also have a 3.5mm jack for when the battery runs out, or if I want to plug them into a airplane. This means that the recorder (which does not feel the cold like I do) can sit outside whilst I remain warm inside. I tried this with the very short cable supplied and can confirm it works perfectly, albeit that it was slightly drafty lying on the floor next to the balcony doors and I couldn't move without pulling the cable out. However the five metre cable which arrives tomorrow will comfortably reach all the way to the bed.....

Is that cheating? I don't think so. Think of it as the audio version of using a scope. Or as wearing a duvet and a door rather than a hat and a coat. Or dressing gown.


  1. Firstly, congrats on the title of yesterday's blogpost - truly sublime and winner of my just hatched "Blog Title of the Month" contest (I was sure Martin Fowlie's "Beetling in Vane" was gonna take it until yesterday). No prizes, other than a smug feeling for the winner.

    Secondly, as soon as you hear bird noise in your headphones, throw them off and dive outside to hear it for real. Then, and only then, can you count it for your list. Sound fair-ish to you? :)

    1. Thanks Seth.
      That's basically what I did last night, but remember I was right next to the door. After I enact my new plan I'll be quite a lot further away, and I also risk waking Mrs L.... You've seen "The Desolation of Smaug", right?

    2. PS I am also rather pleased with today's title