Sunday, 25 October 2009

Twitcher I Am Not

Its only 5, I suppose your going to see that European something bunting down at North Shields murmurs my beloved as I potter round. You learn something as you get on in life, never correct the wife, especially when she is off colour. Well I eventually left after getting her paper, making some toast and tea and doing a flask of tea and leaving it next to the bed (oh what a caring husband). Arrived at South Shields thinking I would be there first (ish) I was amazed to find nearly a hundred there already. To cut a long story short by the time I had seen the warbler through my own bins then someone elses Scope I decided to leave, walking away I realised that taking my camera had been a waste of time and I had definitely brought the wrong lens for two reasons as the bird had been at closest 60m away and when I was over 200m away from the site I still couldnt get eveyone in the picture that was there. The other thing that struck me that this was not bird watching as I knew it. It seemed so dispassionate, strange and as I walked away another chap joined me, he said he was from Lincolnshire and came up last night and had to get back straight away but it was worth it for a lifer tick (it had only been showing for a couple of minutes of and on so what pleasure can one get). I think that this will be the last time I will go on a twitch (even though it is only 5 miles from my house as the crow flies) I prefer to walk around by myself or with a few other guys, not a football crowd or sit in a hide watching and being able to take pics on most occasions.
Leaving South Shields I headed straight for Big Waters, thanking god when I arrived, just a couple of lads a bit of banter and some nice birds on view. I dont know whether this tree matches the cormorant or the cormorant matches the tree
Hoi, what are you Sparrows doing, this nyger feeder belongs to us Goldfinches

Swans, dont you just love them.

Alan, I took a couple of pics of all the greylags but they didnt all fit on one pic, on the other pic there is another 7 to the left so you can count them now without any of them daring to move.

Off down to St Marys for a bit of walking, searching and looking. Dropped into the cemetery first and spotted these fantastic looking fungi

You all know Im a real beginner at this so after 15 mins of standing, watching and following the bird below obligingly posed for the photo. Even after looking at it through the bins for 5 of those minutes and looking at the crap pic I still couldnt figure out what it was, an experienced birder nearby (theres always at least a couple within spitting distance at St Marys) took a 2 second look and Reed Bunting came the swift answer (mind working overtime thinks of course it must be a female because I have seen plenty of males, files away for future reference), thanked experience birder, couple of minutes chat and I was off searching again. NOW, that little 25 minutes was more enjoyable and fulfilling than 90 mins of standing at Trow Quarry looking for a bird who I felt was the prisoner in a comic version of Alcatraz with searchlights roaming all over the place.

Now for the best/worst pic of the day. Was watching this Kestrel hovering and got a few pics but as usual they were just silhouettes but as it dropped down looking for an early evening appetiser I got a couple of shots, just before it tried to cook its appetisers goose, off on my super fast 3.6 shots a sec Nikon, alright its out of focus, its got motion blur but so what I like it and it was fun taking.

Now dont get me wrong there is nothing wrong with twitching but it is definitely not for me and someday I might put together a list so I can start ticking
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