Well here goes! I'm not sure how this will turn out? I spend a great deal of my time looking at the birdlife that exists around my Newland's Farm patch, even more attention is paid to those visitors to my garden feeding station, but what am I actually doing? The phrase goes "familiarity breeds contempt" and that it exactly where my local birding is at. Yes; I am looking, but what am I seeing? It's a Blue Tit, a Dunnock, a Robin, etc, etc.... Every now and again something will happen, a Robin attempting to feed from the sunflower dispenser, yet apart from those fleeting moments, I'm on auto pilot - simply going through the motions. This is equally applicable when I visit Stodmarsh NNR, for instance. A Marsh Harrier drifting over the adjacent reed bed is given a cursory glance, quickly id'd and then ignored. Bearded Tits "pinging" their way through the reed stems - again a simple scan through the bins, possibly a couple of lines in the note book. A Bittern might cause a momentary stir, any sighting is always a pleasure, but it quickly passes. The fact that I've made the effort to travel to such a wondrous place is indicative that I want to engage with the natural world, but what I do when I get there suggests that I've taken my eye off the ball.
|The bird that set a president - the dark morph Eleonora's Falcon that|
I found near Agios Gordios, Corfu - Sept 2004
|Typical views of an Olive Tree Warbler|
|Males are happy to sing from exposed positions, although|
they are usually in shadow.
They have a wonderful song flight, legs dangling, as they move around their territories - again nothing about this in Collins!
|That "wing panel" wasn't as obvious as I expected|
|Male Rock Sparrow - Pefkohorri, NE Greece.|
A "lifer" in 2010 - what a superb little bird. Full of character and another holiday challenge.
|Male Masked Shrike - Pefkohorri, NE Greece.|
ID was never an issue - the time spent in the company of a territorial pair was extremely educational.
|A Hoopoe - enjoy!|
|No good simply watching this bird - I had to look!|
Eight pale fringed primaries, pale legs!
A Marsh Warbler - no shit! It was singing its' head off!
But not in a habitat that I'd have associated the species with. All good learning.
So there you have it! I'm not sure that I've managed to convey all the thoughts that were going through my head when I started this post, 24 hours ago! I will finish with one last observation, and one that might be as contentious as my views on the "Ramsgate Warbler". Has anyone else noted the the tail shape (a slight bulge) of Pallid Swift when flying with their tail fork closed?