Friday, 19 June 2015

Twitching - a reflection

Tuesday 16th June 2015
 I twitch when I get the opportunity and I get a lot of pleasure from it. I'd like to think my Birding goes beyond that, but twitching or the quest to see rare or unusual species is part of my Birding psyche.
You dont have to know anything about birds to be a successful twitcher, its a question of logistics as much as anything else.They can tell you what was turned up where and who else was there to see it, a complete history of rare birds in Britain. Having said that many twitchers are very good field birders as well but not all. Theres a bit of the twitcher in all of us if we care to admit it. We all keep lists we collect, we log information about the species we see around us.we travel to see something different in our own region Its just the degree of  time and money we are prepared to invest.
Yesterday I travelled to Bardsey Island off the North Welsh coast to see a Cretzschmar's Bunting in company with John Holtham, John Boden and Steve Nuttall. We travelled through the night arriving in the early hours but still found the Car Park at Porth Meudwy almost full. After walking down to the small quay we signed in. The process was well organised and we were assigned to Boat 5. This meant a wait of some 10 hours. Eventually  we boarded the 12 seater boat and set off on a flat calm sea. On arrival we were ushered to the Lighthouse compound where the bird was seen regularly feeding on seed which had been put down. When I say regularly I mean regularly every hour or so. So we waited and we waited very patiently and very quietly. Sure enough the bird appeared on the seeded area amongst the flowers. For a minute  the bird showed itself reasonably well from where I was standing. At least you could identify it, but then it moved behind the concrete slab only showing the top of its head as it continued to feed, and then it was off. Again we waited for almost another hour before it was time to leave the island. To add insult to injury as we left the bird came back, calling. All too late. It would have been good to have a longer look at this MEGA but I was grateful for the views I did get. Having said all that Bardsey Is is a lovely place, particularly when the sun shines. On the crossing there are a number of Auk species and Manx Shearwaters, always a treat for the Midlands birder as are the Chough on the Mainland cliffs.
Chough, Porth Meudwy

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