06 March, 2010

Second-rank birding

In his Devon Yearlisting 2010 blog, Ash Powell told of how he recorded 5 raptors in a day earlier this week. Being of the second rank of birders, I managed 4 and an owl... Oh, and a Devon Tick! :D

It being sunny and fairly calm of wind, and this being that time of year, I went to a place I'd better not name, to look for birds I'm definitely not going to name! The wind picked up a bit, and it clouded over, but there was some activity - and this is really frustrating! I hate censorship. I met a few birders, including young master Ray, who is currently sporting a full and manly beard. ::ROFLMAO:: [That serves you right for the mud - how old are you?? ;) ]. He got himself a Devon Tick too, which pleased him no end. Will Salmon and Steve Young also were present - the former finding Joe's birds for him, the latter sporting some very shiiiny optics. I'm not jealous. Honest.

Ahem, enough mouse-extraction.

With the weather clouded over, and no sign of a certain Ring-necked Duck at Roadford, I drove to Yarner in the hope that the LSW had reappeared. They hadn't. Then a call from Joe told me [up the top in the wildy bits where the civilians fear to tread] that not only was the Ring-neck in front of the hide at Roadford, but a Yankee Herring was on the Teign! One brief burst of Ancient Devonian later, the amusing sight of a Backward Birder legging it back to the car park with his big scope over his shoulder greeted the sniggering Coal Tits... But where to go? I'm not yearlisting and I saw the Smithsoniatus on the Otter, but I dipped the Ring-neck at Stover and have only seen the one at Cheddar last year [also a smart drake - they are very pretty!]. Thus Devon Tick trumps year-tick-that-I'm-not-doing,-am-I?

An hour after the call, I was pulling up at Roadford. An hour and twenty minutes after that, Mike Pope thought to check the bit right round the corner to the left of the hide, and the Ring-neck - with a male Pochard it seemed very attached to - came out of the reeds and showed very well. Just in time for a certain young man in need of a razor to jam onto! Not too long after that, I found myself alone in the hide. The Ring-neck was swanning around, the light was slowly fading [and too dark, of course, to try a photo - unsurprising as I'd actually got my camera with me]. Very tranquil. Then the Roadford Barn Owl decided to fly across the reservoir. Yaaaay! Then a Carrion Crow noticed it and did its best to peck it in half in mid-air... Sometimes I really hate crows.

Late news.. Holy @£%*(^%@@£%%&$%@£$£%%$^!!!!!!! Bufflehead!

Twitch twitch twitch twitch...........

[Yes, I am too recent on the twitching scene to have seen the 98 Roadford bird...]

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