13 August, 2011

Musician's Recompense

All the fun comes with a price, of course. Alas I can't just spend my days swanning around looking at birds [or staring at bushes, as we shall see later...], more's the pity. So, a week of work, more work, did I mention work? Oh and with a bit of overtime thrown in for good measure. Joy. Not even a work tick, either. Yep, you read right, overtime. ::Sigh:: It's all that pesky front's fault - if it hadn't sped up and gone through overnight... Tut. But petrol doesn't come cheap [despite crude falling 20%; scum-sucking profiteers that they are] and overtime helps to pay for all the fun.

As does Being Good and bashing my Patch yesterday. Strictly Longshank's Pony only as I gave it a fair going-over, with a juvenile Willow Warbler the highlight - passing through almost definitely [alas again] as I haven't had more than briefly singing spring migrants here for a long while. When I were a lad, they'd sing from just up there ::Points::, but no more...

Juvenile Whitethroat was more likely a local, but the interesting skulker with white tail sides at the Nose... It popped up and back down very quickly, but what little I saw and heard of it was promising. So, I picked a good spot - close but not too close, nicely tucked away and so on - and waited. And waited. How long do you stay staring at a bush [or vast area of scrub, in this case, as the little git was in the top end of the South Side]? I gave it an hour.

This is why I prefer seawatching to pass-bashing - they fly by, maybe they hide behind a wave, but you know within at the most a few minutes if you're going to get an ID. There's no malarky with hiding in bushes and sneaking out the back while you stand around like a plank... There's no giving a call that sounds like 20 other species' calls. Or giving a funny call then moving somewhere else, or.. ah, you get the idea.

Not to say I haven't had fun with little birds in big bushes - but usually when I already know they're there. A certain Sardinian Warbler at Berry Head springs to mind - I got myself sat down on my little folding stool with a flask of coffee and waited. It eventually came to me and showed quite cripplingly. 3 views totaling 4 minutes in a little over two hours [plus a point-blank Yellow-brow as icing on a very tasty cake :) ]. Though then there were two more hours of bugger all, of course... So when I'm at 'Gwarra I have a look at the Cover, but only as I'm passing to and from the main event. Bush-bashing's what you do when the weather's wrong to seawatch. ;)

I did get an unexpected Patch Tick, but not one for my yearlist. Common Hawker, near the Palace Hotel. Biggest dragon I've seen here! [Ok, the list is very short, {Its 4!} but what do you expect for a densely-populated urban area with cliffs, woods and some farmland? The ponds at Torre Abbey and Cockington can barely sustain the Mallard horde - odonata have no chance. There should be a few Demoiselles on the streams, but I've never seen one...]. Also, the annual "Oh shiiiiit!" moment, as a wandering juvenile Buzzard discovers that there are far worse things than Crows in the sky...

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