08 June, 2011

Overdue Nonsense.

How time flies when you're not paying attention...

Ok, first up - had a mooch around Fernworthy on Sunday. Always a pleasure and there's the chance of a Kite, right? Or not. But a female Redstart was uncharacteristically showy [though that is 'for a Redstart'] and a Tripit and a couple of Willow Warblers really took the cake for coming right up to you.. :) Nothing spectacular, it was nice [apart from finding that those nice people at SWLT have decided to put a @%&§&@£$%^§* parking meter in the car park], and quieter than I expected - always a bonus on a weekend.

[[*Ancient Devonian Swear-words, which I am not allowed to translate.]]

[[But why, why make people pay to park in the car park; it doesn't work on the Moor, there are too many other places to park. Even the NPA aren't stupid enough to try it. And don't get me started on their excuse of 'paying for upkeep of the facilities', when they are some very manky loos that are shut for most of the year because they haven't lagged the pipes!]]


Right, on to the other thing. Yup, time to be naughty...

'Report of male Blue Rock Thrush on Dartmoor' perhaps needs the addendum of '.. receives no interest at all, it seems.' Its a real pity this didn't come out on, say, the 2nd, as I would have been able to go and have a look. [And you'd better believe I would.] Work being in the way, I can only twiddle the thumbs and wonder.

So here goes.
One, someone sees a funny-looking bird while out walking. Thinks "What's that?". Looks it up, thinks "Oooh, I should tell someone about this." Does so.
Two, someone sees a funny-looking bird while out walking, which due to various factors looks like something else. Bird is looked up and identified as said something else, then reported as such.
Three, someone thinks "Hmm, that Rock Bunting nonsense caused a lot of fuss. I have an unspecified reason to think up a suitably interesting bird and report it right after the weekend"
There's also Four, very rare bird is misidentified as another due to being in a not generally described plumage. [This courtesy of a clever poster on [Online Forum Of A Bird-related Nature]]

Being the person I am, I tend to take people at their word unless I have reason to do otherwise. This may be hopelessly naive, or just old-fashioned of me, but hey. So, perhaps the best way to put it is that I choose to believe that whoever saw this Blue Rock Thrush is genuine in their belief. A male BRT is not an easy bird to mistake, though a slender bluish grey thrush with a black tail [That description from memory] might be something else if seen briefly in strong sunlight without the aid of the expensive optics those of us daft enough to whack out for them can take a little for granted. A Blackbird, or a White-throated Robin [ ;) ], or, for that matter, what about a Blackstart? [ ;) !!]

Joking aside, there seems to me to be an unduly large amount of cynicism going around. Yes, people hoax birds for various reasons and everyone makes mistakes [I'm very good at it, just ask anyone unlucky enough to have sat next to me at a seawatch....], but the truth is that anyone can find anything. All that is required is to look the right way at the right time. Be you experienced birders seawatching in Kent, or a regular normal person looking at his birdtable in Shropshire, or a naturalist on his local patch in Yorkshire... Look. See. Wonder; "What the funk is that??!??"

Did anyone check?

Answers, as always, on a postcard.

Jackdaw at work today. Result. :)

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