How badly does missing out on seeing a rare bird affect you? Some 'casual' ( ehherm) birders recently on social media have lamented that they don't know how they will cope if they miss the next big thing, having missed out on some mega rare birds recently on various islands around our coastline. Really?
For goodness sake get a grip, if it is troubling you that much maybe you need to get some mental health advice. Most of us, I think, are in the 'bugger' camp where we would like to catch up with something that we then dip out on leaving a little fed up for a spell then we move on. That's life or as some local old timers would phrase it 'That's birding son'.
This weekend, I've had a little taste of this. On Saturday late afternoon around 5.20pm, a message came through from our local insatiable bird finder, Dan, that he had found a Red -eyed Vireo at Boulmer! To be precise, the bird was in a few scattered hawthorns on Seaton Point.
|Seaton Point, pic taken Oct 2020...|
The timing couldn't have been worse for me as I had to be at Alnmouth Station at 6pm to pick Jane up from a trip to Newcastle. By then it would be dark anyway so it was a non starter. Wandering around the station 35 mins later, thick clouds gathered, not only in my head, but real ones and the rain started. Darkness brought relief in that my dilemma was now over, it would wait until tomorrow.
Overnight and the wind got up to a near gale from the south west. Seaton Point isn't a good bird holder in decent conditions being so exposed but in this weather I was not hopeful that our East coast yank would still be there.
I met John there at 7am, before first light. John had been quick enough out of the blocks that he saw the bird while Dan was still with it last night so he had the most up to date idea where it was at dusk.
We covered the area until lunchtime along with another good few birders but, as expected, the Vireo was no more. Missing a bird of this magnitude on our local patch does smart a little, but at least I saw the Holy Island bird last autumn so its not too bad.
What did we see? The answer is, not a lot really. A Peregrine soared over the point in a blustery dawn, 22 Barnacle Geese flew W, about 20 Redwings were in the point bushes and bracken and a couple of Siskins and Grey Wagtail flew S.
Here's to the next time...
|If only....things might have been much different...|