Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dean was right!



This Common Footman was on the patch of Hemp Agrimony on the coastal path. Dean Stables predicted that good insects were attracted to this plant and he wasn't wrong. This is an uncommon moth in Northumberland ( I think) so I've asked the experts for an update of its status in Northumberland. I remember seeing one as a kid somewhere but I have often been irritated by forgetting the location...

I had a 'Robinson Crusoe' moment this evening too. You know the scene, Crusoe is all alone wandering on his island and he comes across some footprints in the sand that aren't his - well, tonight I was on the way back from Bunty's walk on the coast path when I see the strange sight coming towards us. Birders. Two of them. Imagine the grunt of wonderment, like a monkey with a mirror, as I saw them in the binoculars...Whats was going on? Birders dont come here, there's nowt to see. What if they've had something that I've missed? What if there was a twitch nearby that I didn't know about? So I played it casual and strolled along the road until we met. It was only Alan Priest from Newbiggin and his mate Steven out for a change of scenery. Now I've known Alan for 20 years and the only time I've seen him out of territory was the day we first met, one I remember well.

12th July 1989, Cresswell Pond. We were strangers gazing at not much when Ian Douglas came by and said that there was a Sooty Tern at Hauxley. I didn't drive so Alan offered me a lift up there. When we arrived the bird was parading in front of the hide like a star but it had been re identified as a Bridled Tern. A proper county blocker to this day...

So cheers Al, you would let me know if there was a Sooty Tern at the Burn Mouth now wouldn't you?...

4 comments:

Alan Tilmouth said...

"Imagine the grunt of wonderment like a monkey with a mirror" spoken like a true wordsmith. My favourite line of the week.

Birding Sometimes said...

I remember dipping that bridled tern! - Got to the reserve and was met by Eddie Slack who advised that it had "juuuuuust flown off..."!

abbey meadows said...

Many blockers were missed in those days due to the lack of a car. I remember catching a bus to Amble and walking to Hauxley only to miss the Bridled Tern by two minutes the second time around. I could drive to Norfolk in half the time! Interesting about the Hemp agrimony..theres plenty of it growing around here.

Dean said...

Dean was Right. That`s as rare as a Bridled/Sooty Tern, Stewart.