Tuesday 21 August 2012

Tree Pipit

I thought joining this challenge would be fun and motivational, but boy are half-decent, self-found birds hard to come by when you have no transport. This much I have already discovered. Then add to this the lack of any significant waterbodies.

To date, the 'only' birds I have 'found' are a co-found Purple Heron with Steve (and I wouldn't have been there to bask in reflected glory if he hadn't offered to take me out birding for the day), a Lesser Spot, Whimbrel, Cetti's at a new site only a stone's throw from my mother's house (where I happened to be staying) and erm....some Mandarin on the local brook.

So having only been involved for a few days, I decided upon a suitable, un(der)-watched local site for Whinchat and went along to a disused quarry north of Potton. The quarry floor is crammed with ragwort: suitable look-out points, I thought.

I had scanned for about half an hour I guess, when behind me, I heard an explosive, high-frequency and drawn-out call. Instinctively, and despite being alone, I intoned ''Tree Pipit!'' I could now see the bird, bouncing nervously from its perch. It called again, seemingly looking for somewhere to settle, before with one last call, it rose and was gone.

Not what I had expected, but when is birding ever thus?


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