Monday, 18 August 2014

Monday August 18

Having been birding for almost my entire life, I do not expect to go to my local patch and come across a bird I cannot identify, but that's what happened this morning. It was actually a bird call, and those generally require some sort of previous experience, preferably recently.

This is what happened. I had nipped down to the flash to check it out, and found it was much as yesterday, 21 Teal, 11 Green Sandpipers, and two Snipe. So far, so boring. After a short trip down the hedgeline I was returning to the only bit where the trees thin out sufficiently to allow a view when I became vaguely aware of a disyllabic rather flutey call which was a bit like the begging call of a young Buzzard. Lazily I decided that must be what it was, and the noise seemed to fade away. Ten minutes later I heard it again, and I convinced myself this time it could be some kind of wader.

The calls got louder and louder, and I scanned the sky anxiously through my binoculars and by naked eye, but I just couldn't see anything. Its very difficult to describe calls. I wrote it down as " a liquid "kil - lee" with a slight upward inflection on the second syllable. It was vaguely like an Oystercatcher I suppose, but it wasn't that. Whatever it was flew quite rapidly south-west, and I could still hear it calling faintly in the distance for some time. I tried to drag some clue from my memory banks, but nothing came to mind. Perhaps it wasn't a wader, I can recall hearing an escaped Cockatiel once, and thinking that sounded wader-like. Maybe it was just a Parrot!

I hung around hoping for a second coming, but it was not to be. Instead I witnessed the surprising sight of a flock of 22 juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gulls heading west, and also two Sand Martins going south.

Back at the car I realised I hadn't photographed anything, and decided that a Collared Dove on wires above me would have to do.

Birding can be a frustrating business, but its kind of nice to be reminded that even after 50 years of birding, there is still plenty to learn.

Token bird !

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