Wednesday 14 November 2012

A promise is a promise

In a recent post, after close-up views of impossibly exotic birds on the Isles of Scilly, I promised an early return to distant, grainy photos of patch trash. Never let it be said I don't deliver...

Drake Red-crested Pochard
First up, a Red-Crested Pochard, rewarding my return to Swineham with a new bird for the patch. It was found by a recent recruit to the area, Marcus Lawson - like me, a drift migrant from Kent. I can tick the RCP with confidence due to an executive decision to apply a much lower burden of proof to my patch list than my British one. This helpfully dispenses with any agonising about the origins of all but the most outrageously dodgy waterfowl which may turn up. I haven't decided where to draw the line yet, but I'm thinking somewhere between 'Bar-headed Goose' and 'Flightless Cormorant'.

Male Bearded Tit
Next up, two pairs of Bearded Tits - often heard but not so often seen in the vast reedbeds between the gravel pits and the Wareham Channel. Not frame-filling shots, but as good as I've managed to date at this site. I got close views of these birds despite having two boisterous sons in tow. Their mum was away on a girls day out, and is off again this Saturday for an embarrassing-Auntie-at-a-college-disco weekend with her niece, who is at Uni in London. The obvious downside of this is that I will be full-time parenting and therefore not doing much birding. 'Claire going away' is also close as it gets to a guarantee of a good bird turning up which I won't be able to twitch - second only to 'mum and dad coming to visit'. The upside is the impact on the brownie point jar for future excursions: kerrching!

Bearded Tits - 3 of 4 at Swineham this weekend

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