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Dirty filthy twitching volume 2

Friday, January 29, 2010

After the incredible photos on the previous post were taken, Mrs Thing and I began to make our way to the exit of Surlingham Church Marsh.  When we arrived, there was a couple there that were obviously birders.  And they had a fair bit of gear with them.  Actually they had all the gear with them.  Top notch scopes, bins, tripods and everything - they must have had about eight grands worth of optics between them.  We roll up with a knackered pair of twenty year old germans between us and a bag containing a drawscope in a leather case.  The beauty of a patch like Surlingham is that most days you don't need a scope.  With half decent skills and a pair of clean binoculars you can comfortably ID everything.  And if you need the scope, there are plenty of posts about and a hide.  This means that you can travel light, and enjoy the visit without walking around in some crazy lopsided way, loaded down with large chunks of metal and glass.  So we asked them if they were looking at anything interesting in the church yard.  There are often Brambling in there they said but none today.  He looked at my optics, and I think that they may have confused him but he asked the secret birders code question -  'anything about?'.  My answer obviously identified me as a birder (of sorts) because I used a turn of phrase that made him realise that I was the real deal, or something close to it. 

"Oh there isn't much about, the lagoons are still frozen, there are some ducks in the dykes but there are a fair few confiding Fieldfare near the hides"

Confiding Fieldfare.  That's what nailed it.  You may not see anything rare, but there is a good looking bird that you can get close to - proper birding

Because of this he gave us a tip off - there was a Great Northern Diver on a stretch of water not far away (which we had already toyed with going to on the way home) and I think that if I hadn't described the Fieldfare as confiding he may not have bothered.

Stay with me dear reader, there is more.  At the Diver site, which I suppose technically may be described as a Tw*tch (Lord have mercy on my soul for I have sinned against the Holy Patch) there were birders and there was a Diver and a Smew and some other ducks and stuff.  Very, very nice indeed.  Just to the right of the throng (or whatever the collective noun for twitchers is - a page?) some bloke blurted out a sentence with a great deal of excitement.  This being Norfolk, you will now put your best Norfolk accent on for maximum effect....

"Eye gort a Kengfeshur en moy scoooop!"

Pretty much everyone stopped looking at the Diver, the Smew and the other birds and got on to the Kingfisher.  Because everyone likes a Kingfisher, and as I have said before, any day you see a Kingfisher is a good day.

Have a picture of that bird.

A Kingfisher doing en a scooop.

3 comments:

Dave Lewis said...

I believe it would be a "Clank" of tw*tchers...but I'm a Yank, so what do I know...other than that world wide sound that they make!

Razboynik said...

I also like to go birding light..

Stuart's Poor Birding World said...

I, in common with most "birders", am a hypocrite. I hate the "T" word and those who do the "T" word thing. I am therefore dirty, filthy, filled with self-loathing and covered in shame.

For me, the question "Anything about?" means the inquisitor would like you to divulge the whereabouts of all the lovely scarcities and rarities you have had to find because they can't or are too lazy to look for.

P.S. Wish PBW was half as funny as CC!

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