Sunday, November 04, 2012

Happy 100th Bird-day!

There was a cause for celebration - and not a little frustration - for Geth and myself a couple of weeks ago  as we finally reached the milestone of seeing 100 species of birds on our Radyr Floodplain / Forest Farm / Glamorgan Canal local patch.

We've been occasional visitors to this area for the last 10 years or so, but only really started paying it some proper attention around 3 years ago, and found it to be a very productive area - particularly during the spring and autumn migration periods. See here and here.

Having had 99 species on our collective list for almost five months (both of us haven't seen all the birds on the list - Geth's seen 7 species I haven't seen, and I've seen 1 species he hasn't) provided us with plenty of opportunities to try and guess which species would bring up the century mark. Our 99th species was a fly-over Greylag Goose and we wanted the next patch tick to be something a little more special - and less plastic - than that.

We would never have guessed that that bird would be a Hawfinch. A scarce and elusive bird in Glamorgan and a true rarity for the Patch.
Hawfinch by Gethin
The story goes like this . . . . having visited the Patch together early every autumn weekend morning for several weeks, and enjoyed a cracking variety of migrant birds (more of that in our end of year 'Patch Report'), yours truly decided to have a lie in. Geth wasn't such a wimp and got his just reward.

As I sauntered onto the Floodplain and hour and a half after Gethin had arrived there, I received a breathless phone-call from the boy birder informing me that a Hawfinch had just flown over and landed on top of a bush in front of him. Panic! I ran at a speed I haven't matched since my school days and if I could repeat that running performance again I would have a fair chance of getting to Rio 2016. Sadly, (and that's the understatement of the century), I missed the bird by 10 SECONDS!!! It flew down onto the other side of the bush just before I arrived and was never seen again.

Thoughts of writing Gethin out of my Last Will and Testament were short-lived as he has kindly refrained from rubbing salt into my very sore wound.

Back home, Gwenni, Gethin's sister, kindly helped us celebrate this special occasion by baking a Happy 100th Bird-day Cake fit for The Great British Bake Off.

Happy Bird-day Cake by Gwenni Berry

PS We're still waiting for a congratulatory telegram from the Queen.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Congrats to you both,what a special bird to bring up the 100 !!
Great drawing Geth and nice cake Gwenni.
It's a great "patch" and I'll probably give the Kingfishers another go before too long.