well, how did i get here?

Friday, July 23, 2010

I think that I may have been in the wrong patch this morning.  I got uncommon birds and a patch tick par excellence.

The tides have been high at lunchtime this week, so the only good birding is in the morning.  Obviously, this being this particular patch, good birding means that the birds that are not there at lunchtime are there in the morning.  Which is fine.  It's a patch, and that's what it is all about.  Or is it?

I got to the river this morning, spied a couple of Grebes close in and some gulls.  So far, so really very normal indeed.  Then a Common Sandpiper flew past calling, and it was close in.  That'll do me.  Waders on this patch are very hard to come by so I was more than happy to try and follow this shivery winged rarity for half an hour or so.  Except that as I turned in one direction, I heard a familiar call behind me.  If I was at Cley, I wouldn't think twice about it.  Well maybe to check if something rarer was with it, maybe with spots.  But in the context of the patch I knew this was special.  I was stopped in my tracks and the adrenalin started to flow.  It called again - tyu-yu-yu - "holy shit I've got a Redshank".  There have been reports of one in the same borough, but just up river so I was hoping against all hope that one might come past, but as I spun round and eyeballed the foreshore there were five.  FIVE!  "Holy shit - there's five Redshanks".  Five lovely little patch ticks all in a row.  I was staggered.  And still am.  Of course, they flew off.  Record shots below.

Bloody hell.  I'll go and look for this sandpiper then.  Two wader species in a day.  Remarkable.  I got further down river and didn't find a sandpiper, but did find a Yellow-legged Gull.  And there was a Common Tern, and a summer plumage Common Gull (niiiiice..).

What is going on?  It's like the birding equivalent of Once In A Lifetime...

You may find yourself birding in a half decent patch

You may find yourself in another part of the Thames

You may find yourself in a beautiful patch, with a beautiful tick

You may ask yourself: well... how did I get here?


Ernest said...

and I ask myself " Whose is this beautiful house...who is this beautiful wife ?"
How could he have known all those years ago in America what was going to happen down at the Wandle?
The universe is not only weirder than we realise, it is weirder than we can ever realise!
Best wishes from Ray up in temporarily sunny Lancaster.

Jonathan Lethbridge said...

Awesome. I dream of Redshanks. Patch birding is the best.

Dave said...

Very odd...I am listening to the Talking Heads at work right now...spooky.

Mark Feltham said...

A flock of Redshank? You get a FLOCK?! Damn your patch hide!

Larry said...

Very interesting post Thing. I enjoyed the Talking Heads reference.

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