Just back from a weekend on the Trent & Mersey Canal with boaty friends, and various commitments over the past several days, have somewhat limited my birding activities but I did manage a visit to Brandon Marsh last Tuesday and a quick sortie locally. Mind you my local patch is still awash with visitors getting some good views of the current Great Grey Shrike, which for the most part doesn't seem to be too illusive, what a great bird to have on your doorstep!
My Brandon visit produced three separate visits from a Peregrine, which caused the usual havoc on East Marsh Pool, but the highlight of the day was when 32 Golden Plover dropped in around mid-morning. Unfortunately, I was over on West Marsh at the time searching for the returning Bittern and had to make a hasty return to big-hide, scurrying across the central path and passing a couple of very surprised visitors as I jogged passed muttering, "I'm not a twitcher honestly".
Speaking of which I must make comment on Monday nights programme on BBC4 'Twitching' A very British Obsession', which I found to be extremely annoying and frustrating! The one thing that was quite apparent to me was the fact that Twitching for these guys in particular was simply not about the birds! It's about a group of lunatics who are obsessed with wanting to get one up on their fellow lunatics, and in one instance this meant a couple dragging their young daughter from pillar to post in search of their illusive 'tick'!!
When the day comes that I have to confirm my sightings to some primadonna, No! not you Jim :), who wasn't even on site at the time, then I'll give up and start knitting for my hobby. These guys really need to get a life and enjoy birding for what it is, a relaxing and fascinating study of wild birds in their natural habitat, not sitting in a bar on the coast of Ireland pouting because you've not got a tick on a bird, when just outside the door is an array of magnificent species just waiting to be seen!
To finish I must say a quick thank you for the emails regarding my Chainsaw Course, and yes I passed both sections and am now as they say on the paperwork, competent!!! Many thanks too to Warwickshire Wildlife Trust for their financial support.