Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Week 6..

Sometimes I wonder if the planet is actually facing the apocalypse? I know the population has survived serious pandemics before, but maybe the collapse of the economy is what does it, not the disease? In the great Spanish Flu pandemic of a century ago, people didn't have much anyway and there was not the share holding consumerism of today.

On the News this week airlines are reporting that they are haemorrhaging money and may go bust, the hospitality industry looks like it will be in tatters and all of this impacts on other things too such as property ownership and renting etc plus all of the small businesses reliant on these larger sectors. The Government cant pay all of this forever...

Maybe the plug has been pulled and we are slowly spiralling our way down the drain...

On that cheery note, birding crack seems a bit frivolous, but here it is.

This week I have added ...

Sandwich Tern. On call only, though it is already on the garden list from sight records. I had seen 6 birds fishing just off our coast path and when I got home I realised I could hear them calling as they chased around!

Reed Bunting 1 female was on the wires along our drive. I wonder why they and yellowhammers don't come to my feeders that border the back field? Birds fly overall the time and are present only a hundred metres away in hedges. Youd think the flock of sparrows would pull them in, but I haven't had one at seed for about 7 years!

Moorhen. I heard the kek-kek-kek call clearly about 3 or 4 times while I was in the bathroom at 11.30pm. Coot was my first reaction until I listened to some nocturnal calls on xeno-canto that clearly showed my caller to be a Moorhen. I've never seen a moorhen in or from my garden, but at least I did hear it so its going on the list.

This takes my full list to 134 species seen or heard from the garden. I have had 3 new garden birds during lockdown, with Teal, Moorhen and White tailed Eagle added. I also took, retrospectively, Guillemot on call ( not on the lockdown list). That's not as bad as it sounds because every August I can hear the fledged juvvies calling for the adults on a calm sea nearby, I've just never thought of them as garden birds before. But, as long as there are folk ticking scoter from a recording, I'm having it.

What a Moorhen 'tick'should look like...
I also have to confess to something.

This week I have had two seawatches. 'What!' You exclaim. 'You're not following lockdown rules there!'

Well, I have been noting that birders across the land are out all day long 'excercising' tens of miles from home and just happening to take in any good bird that has been around, so I thought sod it, I am going for a look at the sea.

For me this involves walking 540.63 mtrs or, in old money, a third of a mile. Measured on Google Maps as accurately as possible. As the crow flies, or as the guillemot calls, the shortest distance from my garden to salt water is 236.82 mtrs. I then sit down a slope, alone, for 1 hour and walk back. Cullernose Point can wait til autumn.

Two decent spells this week had 15 Black tailed Godwit N ( patch mega), 2 Long tailed Ducks N, 1 Arctic, 4 Common and 9 Sandwich Terns N on one visit and on the other 4 Scaup S , 1 Puffin N, 2 Red throated Divers N plus good numbers of Gannets and Razorbills with many more auks further out. Not bad for spring.

For a while I forgot the shitshow taking place around us and enjoyed some normality. 

Stay safe all.


Skev said...

I've tried not to get drawn into the rights and wrongs of going out and enjoying something on yer todd, like seawatching. I'm quite comfortable with the idea that you can do these things AND responsibly socially isolate. It is obviously a lot easier to do if you live on a cliff edge or in ths sticks. My beef is that for me to get anywhere, I have to walk through or out of a suburban estate to find open space. This is where it's a bit nonsensical as by doing that (fully permitted) I come into contact with far more people than I would if I'd got in my car and driven off to a massive nature reserve (frowned upon) where I can enjoy even more space. I'm not talking about driving massive distances, or anything daft like driving to the coast, by surely heading off for a few miles in safety is better than walking a few 100 meters amongst people! Where it gets properly daft though is people actively twitching - really not necessary or acceptable in current climate. How's yer garden listing going?

derek said...

Walking 300 m is fine, don't beat yourself up about it. I'm 10 minutes walk from the coastal path on my patch and that's my walk now, down to the coast, turn left out and back. Easy peasy and all within the rules, go down as often as you like!!

Stewart said...

Mark - I fully agree. If you live in a town or city or even a housing estate, you could drive a few miles out to somewhere open more safely than walking it. But, people do and are taking the absolute piss...Garden listing slowing now, with most spring migrants that are possible under the belt or have passed me by... watch this space.

Stewart said...

Derek - Cheers, yes I know, but if others are not as fortunate with access as me, I genuinely feel a pang of guilt for my comrades!