Saturday, August 27, 2011

A 'Fall' on the Patch

In terms of notable UK 'falls' of birds this one would probably be better described as a very small 'stumble'. It wouldn't register more than 0.001 on the Ornithological Richter Scale, but in terms of Gethin's and my patch (Radyr Floodplain/Forest Farm/Glamorgan Canal nr Whitchurch, Cardiff) today was positively historic . . . and I nearly missed out on it by being a lazy bugger.

Geth had clocked that it was going to be cloudy and wet overnight and clearing in the morning. He recognised the birding potential of such weather and was out first thing. I on the other hand chose to stay in bed . . . . again. (See previous posting).

An hour later, I was just stepping into the shower when there was an almighty noise downstairs created by Gethin appearing to try and smash the front door down (he'd forgotten his key again). "WHINCHAT! TREE PIPIT! REDSTARTS! LOADS OF WARBLERS!" he blurted breathlessly. The shower was fogotten and, having remembered to throw on some clothes, we were on our way.

As soon as we entered 'The Scrub' (aka Radyr Flood Plain) I got onto a male Redstart and Geth got onto a fem/imm. We didn't bother looking at them for any length of time - we've seen quite a few there on migration - because up on top of a small hawthorn was a Whinchat, and then there was another, and then another! 3 flippin' Whinchat! High fives . . . a new patch tick.

In no time at all, a pipit flew overhead and onto the top of a bush. Meadow Pipit. Damn! A scarcity on the patch, we'd have been happy enough to see a Mipit normally - but not today. We traipsed round The Scrub picking up the odd Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Whitethroat but the numbers of warblers Geth had had an hour earlier had already cleared out.

And then there it was, another pipit. Straight ahead of us. And this time it was a Tree Pipit - yet another new patch tick. Top banana!

The Tree Pipit takes our combined patch list up to 89. Geth is on 88 (he's seen Canada Goose, Lapwing, Sedge Warbler, Pied Flycatcher and Stonechat and I haven't) and I'm on 84 (I've seen Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and he hasn't).

Why am I four species behind him? Because I'm a lazy bugger and he's seen all those extra species while I've been lying in bed.

I'll be out with him first thing tomorrow morning though.


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Jeff said...

Didn't he used to play cricket for Glamorgan ??.......

Dan said...