Sunday, June 15, 2008

TTV - Terrifying Tetrad Visit

No Father's Day lie in for me today. I was up with the lark (although you'd be bloody lucky to see a lark anywhere near Whitchurch) and counting birds for the BTO Atlas by 6.30am. I was expecting a quiet walk with few surprises but it turned out to be more like a scene out of Hitchcock's 'The Birds'. Everything was un-eventful to begin with - the usual exciting Whitchurch fare . . . House Sparrows, Magpies, Woodpigeons, LBBGs, Feral Pigeons etc. But then, things turned nasty in a field above the Glamorgan Canal where I found myself surrounded by millions of Jackdaws making a hell of a din . . . . .

Aaaaarrgh! How was I going to enter this on the BTO Atlas website?!? Having got the dreaded "Unusually high count" taunt after I recently submittted a record of 'Spotted Flycatcher - 2' how the hell was the BTO going to react when I submitted 'Eurasian Jackdaw - 3,000,000 +'?!? "Bog off you crap birder" perhaps?

To make things worse these cawing corvids made such a cacophony of noise I couldn't hear any other birds. Even if I could get my concentration back I wouldn't be able to hear any other birds calling. Aaaargh . . . a misrepresentative count of ST18K!!!

Aaaaaargh - nobody told me atlassing would be like this!

I ran for the peace and quiet of the woods around Glamorgan Canal only to be aurally assaulted on both sides by the loudest Wrens and Song Thrushes I've ever heard. Then I was goaded by juvenile birds making unidentifiable little seeeping calls high up in the canopy - birds which, of course, refused to reveal themselves.

Moments later I nearly jumped out of my skin when something crashed through the branches landing with a dull thud on the ground behind a nearby bush. I never found out what it was but I'd like to think that it was Grey Squirrell that had lost his footing.

BTO Atlassing - it really screws you up.


Wayne said...

Doh! At least you get some birds in your tetrads.

Dan said...

I sometimes think I'd prefer fewer birds - it would be less stressful!! I think I'll volunteer for all the Cardiff City Centre tetrads next year.

Tim Hall said...

37 species in my tetrad, highlight, Coal Tit with young. Dull, dull, dull

Tim Hall said...

Highlight today, late breeding season visit: Goldcrest feeding young, very cute! But it's not Norfolk is it?