The new order seems to be low carbon all the way, and God forbid you should stray across the line.
It reminds me of the early eighties when Richard Millington's book, A Twitchers Diary' was published. At that time, twitching was frowned upon by the more 'serious' birder as being frivolous and of little scientific value. The RSPB magazine even censored pictures of the book cover by blackening out the title as if it was a photo on the cover of a seedy top shelf magazine ( ask your older mates).
Now the twitcher bashing has started again though for a very different reason. Those who don the hair shirt of local patch birding, while off setting their carbon footprint, look down upon those mile munchers who dash off at the wink of an albatross, seeing them as planet destroyers of no less stature than Thanos himself ! Apparently these 'dinosaurs' have had their day...
We will see.
Where am I going with this? I'm rambling a bit so lets get back on track. The majority of my birding time is spent in a local context, with the odd twitch and day out thrown in to spice things up a bit. Most of my ventures are within Northumberland, but that's because it is a good county for birding. I have been thinking of my last time across the county border after a bird? White winged Scoter at Musselburgh I think? This got me thinking about Steve Gale's 'uber patch'. An area that is bigger than what is deemed managable as one patch but still an area that he spends most of his time.
For me my 'Uber Patch' would be a zone stretching 10 miles North to South and 14 miles East to West with the town of Alnwick more or less in the middle -
This is not a deliberate area, it just happens to be where most of my time is spent. To be fair most the area is not even given a look at but it encompasses places I visit for wildlife regularly. Although it is a big area of land, I don't think I am destroying the planets resources as much as some, especially as even in this area most of my birding is done between Boulmer (the square headland to the right of Longhoughton)and Craster .
This morning was spent 3 miles from home at Boulmer. The strong winds made us choose the coast rather than inland today. It was typically 'July quiet', but enjoyable all the same. First off we walked south from the car park along the shore to get some shelter from the westerlies, to Seaton Point. Highlight here was the Cuckoo on the beach, first seen last weekend by John but still present and flighty today. 1 Bar tailed Godwit, 4 Dunlin, 23 Golden Plovers, 32+ Curlews were the start of wader passage here. Or maybe the end?
12 Swifts flew south. 3 Grey Partridges were in the fields while a Shelduck lead a creche of over 30 ducklings on foot past a roost of Herring Gulls, on to the sea. A pair of Stonechats did their best to stay upright in the wind.
|Him and her Stonechats.|
Back at the car for a tea stop then we walked North to view Longhoughton Steel. Here we had 2 Red throated Divers in summer plumage, many Sandwich Terns, 1 Common Tern, 1 juv Yellow Wagtail and 1 Canada Goose South. A summer plumaged adult Mediterranean Gull flew north along the shore. On the sea loads of Gannets and Auks but nothing on the move.
|Dunstanburgh Castle and on the left, the Bathing House.|
|The North End of Boulmer facing Low Steads.|
|The North End at Boulmer facing due North.|
This wind might swing into the north tomorrow, if so I'll have a seawatch. This time even closer to home...