Sunday, 8 November 2009

Brabantia (sp)

It's a long time since I had a Cetti's, the last being on foreign soil in Crete further back than I care to remember. The current advance north which seems to be happening increasingly rapidly makes it a candidate for next breeding species up here in Northumberland. News yesterday of one singing at Bowesfield Marsh near Stockton combined with a wet start up here sent me off south to try and sneak one onto this year's list.

I've not been to Bowesfield before and leaving the directions on the desk at home with my phone wasn't the best way of finding it but after a couple of false turns I arrived about 08:45. Unfortunately yesterday's performer was conspicuous by his absence. A few birders wandered around the Phragmites edged pools and banks of the River Tees but after a couple of hours without as much as a sniff I departed. A quick stop at the Tees Barrage to see if the regular Yellow-legged Gull was around provided my second dip of the morning.

I thought I'd use the facilities so helpfully provided by the RSPB at Saltholme on the way back, perhaps get jammy and bag a Jack Snipe. Once there I was lured by the food. The young girl serving who may have been Eastern European must have been fooled by the Northumbrian accent when I said I was 'Doon for the Cetti's'. They must have so many foreign visitors I guess, she thought I was from Crete, at least I assume that's what she meant by 'Cretin'.

I found the gents and settled for a while in the luxurious surroundings more in keeping with a country house hotel. Stainless steel flush panel with a 'big flush and little flush' button that caused a little consternation. "Should I try the little flush, obviously better for the environment?" thought I, quickly followed by "but what happens if the little isn't enough, then I'll have to use the big as well which is worse than just using the big flush in the first place." Climate change, creating metaphorical shit on top of the real stuff to have to deal with.

As I left the cubicle suddenly in the corner I caught sight of a Brabantia sp, I just hadn't expected to find one here in a charity lav. Luckily I still had my bins on so I was able to suss it out without disturbing it. I took some notes:

About 30" high it looked wider than the standard Brabantia touchbin 20L and slightly taller. Shining stainless steel it was still in full stunning livery even at this late date. I could see the 'soft touch' operating system around the lid, slightly darker than the bin itself although this could have been the viewing angle and the indoor lighting.

Brabantia sp Image courtesy T. E. Scodirect

I left overjoyed, my morning hadn't been a complete waste. The 15 Black-tailed Godwit and single Little Egret on 'Bottom Tank' were almost superfluous. Now at last I had a record worth sending to the Durham county recorder. After a little research online I now think that this was probably a Brabantia 40L, if anyone else has noted this particular individual and can confirm the ID please leave a comment.


A Williams said...

Hi Alan,

I've noticed there has been a number of sightings of Cetti's icreasingly further north.I had a bird fly into my kitchen window in Sunderland about three weeks ago which i suspected could be a Cetti's. I managed a few photo's in the poor early morning light which i uploaded onto birguides under the unidentified section and the general opinion was that it looked good for Cetti's although its hard to be certain from the photo's.I also e-mailed the photo's to Mark Newsome,he and friends are looking at them to try and come to a conclusion one way or the other.

Mark Newsome said...

Just reviewed your photos of the possible Branatia sp. Looks an excellent candidate for a 40L - right shape, size and colour. Well done! No official record submission is necessary as your description and previous experience make this an easy one for acceptance. I know where I'll be this weekend!