10 Feb 2014

Myrtle Warbler

Its been a long time coming but finally, after 20 years, there's been a twichable Mainland Myrtle Warbler. The last one was in Bristol in 1994. There have been other birds since then but they've either been in Ireland or on inaccessible Islands - including Lundy last autumn. Found just as the last boat left the island for the winter........

A bird turned up on a garden feeder in High Shincliffe, County Durham during the RSPB garden birdwatch on 26th January but the photo's were only released last weekend and no one knew where the bird actually had been seen. Sterling work behind the scenes by Mark Newsome & Gary Woodburn meant the news was released and the news was broadcast Sunday morning to the masses. Bollocks -I was in York on family business. Lees than an hour away with no binoculars and no way of getting there. Luckily Al Orton was in a similar predicament and texted me to say he was going with Mark Powell & Dave Robinson at 5 am today.

After an uneventful journey punctuated by Al's snoring in the front seat we arrived at the designated parking area to find about 50 people watching the hedge where some feeders had been placed. Within seconds the birds appeared and we all watched from a safe distance (well most people did) until it had enough to eat and flew towards one of the local gardens calling as it went. Result! Whilst others decided to chase it around the houses those with a bit more sense and sympathy for local residents reasoned the bird was doing a circuit so we'd be best off waiting........

An hour and a half later the bird flew in calling into the top of a tall tree allowing some quick photo's to be fired off before it moved again. By now we were freezing cold having been stood in the same spot for 3 hours and with more people arriving all the time and local getting a bit upset with people abandoning cars in inappropriate parking places, peering into gardens and standing in the road we decided to leave.

Overall an enjoyable day marred only by a minorities inability to follow on site instructions and having to listen to loud conversations and mobiles ringing. It's very simple - if you have to talk do it in a whisper and put the bloody phone on silent. One guy in particular was a right pain and we'd run in to him at Rainham Marshes for the Baillons Crake a couple of years back:

Same bloke, same loud voice same annoying behaviour.

No comments :