Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Mountain Thrush Before Breakfast

Based on last night's forecast of southerly winds with overnight rain it was obvious that it was going to be an arrival morning and not a morning for seawatching. I headed to the cemetery at first light as this is often a good place for grounded migrants due to its coastal location.

I did my usual circuit of the cemetery and had notched up a couple of Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests when I heard the familiar "chack-chack" call of a Ring Ouzel. I must have flushed it from feeding amongst the head stones and it very briefly alighted on the hedge. It was a very scaly bird and I could see that it was a first winter male. It then took off and flew round in circles, landed briefly in a Scots Pine and then I lost it. But I was nevertheless pleased with my sighting.

Continuing on my walk I added a male and female Blackcap to my migrant tally and headed off to the coastal park. I was greeted with singing Chiffchaff and a distant singing Willow Warbler, before picking up a Blackcap tuning up from some scrub. Two Goldcrests were also in the park, but it was now time to unfortunately head home for breakfast, and I say 'unfortunately' because I knew that there would be quite a few birds around.

I don't 'put out' records of common migrants like Ring Ouzel but another birder who does had obviously been in to the cemetery and re-found the Ring Ouzel and released the news to all and sundry! I'm not criticising  this birder whoever they are, it's not just the way that I operate. This apparently resulted in half a dozen birders running round the cemetery trying to relocate the Ring Ouzel. This was a flighty bird to start off with, but with a posse of year listers on it's tail it will be even more so!

I don't understand the modern birding scene and perhaps I'm an old dinosaur with an old fashioned attitude. I looked at the forecast last night and to me it had 'grounded migrants' written all over it, it couldn't have been plainer than that. I only had an hour to spare this morning so I went to the most likely spot to hold some grounded migrants on my patch. It would seem that the modern way is to sit indoors with a coffee and wait for the pager to go off! I'm obviously doing it all wrong!!

 This Woodpigeon is the only bird I could photograph this morning!


Warren Baker said...

The old ways are the best ways :-) Better to find your own birds, much more satisfying

The Hairy Birder said...

I couldn't agree more Warren!