11 December, 2012


I read with interest about the Foot It! challenge that's spreading through the better-written sort of birding blogs; especially as this concept is what I consider to be Patch birding... :) Aside from when I'm doing a proper seawatch - as I am alas nowhere near rich enough to live within full-kit-yomping distance* of the Nose - all my Patch birding is done on foot. My Patch being defined as the area I walk around, after all.

So I laud and encourage this challenge and look forward to see how my betters do. Getting into the spirit of it, I've looked through my records from this January and by the end of the month I'd seen 56 species on Patch - all by foot, of course - which isn't bad, considering I was working and off filthily twitching this and that, too... ;)

Speaking of Patches and wandering about them... :)  Having been mightily vexed by that report of '10-15 Waxwings in garden near Plainmoor' I've been doing some hunting in the brief minutes between getting up and it getting dark. This being the Patch, that generally involves not finding much - well, 10-15 Starlings aren't too hard as there are usually that many knocking about the stadium lights - while trying not to attract the attention of the denizens [it's.. shall we say not a neighbourhood to go flashing expensive kit around?]. I have found Waxwings there before - most famously on the little Rowans behind Domino's Pizza**, as seen from the Waitrose*** car park! [[Yes, the fancy-pants supermarket in that neighbourhood, go figure.]] - and others have too and escaped alive, so it's worth a go.

Anyway... Cutting things short, I scored late this afternoon; having done a patrol with not even Starlings to report, I was heading back. I had my head full of a blog post about - well look up, that stuff! - when my mind registered that trilling sound. It took a few seconds for me to process that at least 2 Waxwings were calling from almost above me, by which time they'd removed themselves from sight. Bastards. They were sneakily on the posh side of Plainmoor [the stadium] - in fact closer to Cary Parks and thus not in Plainmoor [the area] at all. Online reports are tricksy things. Birds more so. The important thing is that there are Waxwings on my Patch! :D


When I have some more time to waste spend, I'll see if I can pin them down - though I'm not holding out much hope, they're too mobile at the best of times - to somewhere they're feeding or resting. There is still that nice Cotoneaster by the old electric building in St. Marychurch, which would be a great place to watch them, IF they ever decide to grace it with their presence.

We shall have to see.

[[*I have tried it, and damn near killed myself lugging all the kilos of stuff I deem 'vital' over a couple of large and very steep hills... As any of you who have seawatched at Hope's Nose will know, just getting to and from the road is an excellent cardio workout!]]
[[**Other pizza takeouts are available.]]
[[***Other supermarkets are available, but why would you want to? ;) ]]

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