Friday, 13 May 2011

Rosey tern of fortunes

Roseate Tern

I have been getting to dread the breaking rarity or breaking mega tone on the pager more than ever lately. There have been plenty of top birds around and I've been completely free to go and see them, only everybody I know always either working or doesn't need the bird! Had I a car, I would, in theory, have bumped my British list up to around 310 in the last fortnight.

Colin Manville and I were contemplating the possibility of cramming ourselves into a hide at dusk in north Norfolk yesterday evening in the hope of seeing the Great Snipe. While we thought about it, we went and got this utterly splendid Roseate Tern near Eton. It is the same bird that I dipped at QM Res the other day only in a different place, just out of the London area but I wasn't overly bothered about that; it was great to catch up with a bird that I have tried for on multiple occasions in the past without any success and at such close range on a beautiful spring afternoon. We had almost talked ourselves into going for the Snipe when Colin realised he hadn't got his wallet - just as well, we would have dipped miserably.

female Cuckoo

Today at Canons, Roy and I enjoyed the sight of a pair of Cuckoos (see above). Could they be breeding? This now rare patch bird is certainly making itself available to all who look for them at the moment.

Now a plug. After months of work it's finally here (well almost) - the Canons Farm & Banstead Woods Bird Report 2010 will be available for £8 on 5th June. Very limited printun so let me know if you want one;