Wednesday, 19 January 2011

The Tame and the Euphrates

Wednesday 19th January 2011
I headed for the Tame valley today, stopping off at Grendon- Boot Hill, Grendon - Legion Wood, Piccadilly Hills and the Cedars Cafe for a small breakfast and a rest. Moving on I reached Fishers Mill, the final destination, via Kingsbury Water Park. As for birds, not a lot really, a Lesser Redpoll, a few Green Woodpecker, a Willow tit and a Ruff, Little Egret and Redshank at Fishers Mill. I can add Redshank to my SF list but not the Ruff. For the sake of simplicity my definition of self found is seeing a bird I have no prior knowledge of. That means if I see and identify a species that I dont know anything about even if someone else has seen it first its still countable.

Trouble is birders are nice people and they love to share knowledge, as I found out today. I'd only just got to KWP when a chap told me there were a pair of Red head Smew on Otter pool. Now I may not have gone to Otter pool anyway but the opportunity to add another species to the list had gone.

Overdosed on natural history last night. I'm not a great lover of wildlife programmes on the telly but the Shetlands and marshlands of Iraq sounded interesting. I was diappointed in Simon King's Shetland story. To be fair I didnt see it all but it was too predictable and safe with close ups shots of Puffins, Gannets and Otters.

I enjoyed the programme on the restoration of the marshlands and it's wildlife in Iraq far more. True it was over dramatised in places but to produce a wildlife progamme at all in such a suspicious and dangerous environment was an achievement. The 'vision' of one man to restore a way of life was quite moving.

Unfortunately the wildlife photography a bit fragmented. It highlighted common species like Greater Flamingo and Black winged Stilt while completed ignoring phalaropes and a variety of waders in the commentary. It was still great though, to see Basra Reed warbler and Marbled Teal returning to their former strongholds. Lets just hope the Euphrates doesn't dry up completely.

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