Wednesday, 8 April 2009

How Many Iceland Gulls Have Heard Iberian Chiffchaff Singing?

Our six year old has a day out with Grandparents today, I dropped him off about eleven this morning. My parents live close to the beach at Blyth so I parked up for ten minutes, this is about as long as I can eke out a packet of chocolate buttons for and therefore use my bins/scope without disturbance.
A howling North Westerly meant two Sanderling and a single Common Gull were the sum total of my 'seawatch'. I turned the car from the small car park and promptly came face to face with a 2nd calendar year Iceland Gull on the grass about 15m away. The only gull there and only the second I'd seen in ten minutes. It had obviously been laughing it's little head off at me staring in the opposite direction. Perfect picture opportunity in good light, no camera. No problem I reached for my phone only to groan as I realised I had switched handsets back to an old Nokia after one of the kids put my other handset down the toilet and the battery ceased to function, so no phone camera.
I fiddled with the phone as I considered Tweeting it or ringing Birdguides, then I wondered about recording it calling, which it wasn't and I'm not quite sure why I expected it to. I thumbed to the sound recorder and opened the window. I pressed record, except I didn't, I pressed play on the only sound recording I have on the phone, one singing Iberian Chiffchaff. The Iceland didn't think much of it and lifted briefly, re landing as I drove away. At least the gull got a tick presumably.

Further Reading
Fieldfare Startled by Albatross.

No comments: