Saturday, 17 April 2010

Best Laid Plans Go West

It's the unknown isn't it? You can plot and plan to your heart's content but if you just don't hit the right places at exactly the right time it just doesn't happen. It is an integral part of the birding experience, when the plan works and you connect the high can be exhilarating. When it doesn't happen frustration is the order of the day, although sometimes you can be in the right place at the right time for something you didn't expect. Anyway enough bollocks, I went well west today with a plan, wrong plan. On another day with a different set of expectations I would have returned home content.

Sunrise - far fom home.

Lots of small groups of Roe deer as I headed west and Red-legged Partridge. These should really be renamed Kamikaze Partridge given that they have managed to successfully evade the guns you would think they would be slightly less inclined to hurl themselves in front of rapidly moving vehicles. Not today, today was a good day to die, oh they tried wave after wave diving beneath the wheels, to the best of my knowledge they all lived to fight another day.

I stopped short of my final destination and had a little wander in the woods. At a prominent man-made vantage point two Oystercatcher came belting along the river below, one landing on the bank the other, presumably the male carried on and landed high up on the wall of the structure I was stood on and began to call. The call echoed and amplified in the arch below, interesting behaviour.

Another hour on and a long drive along a rough Scottish road and I found myself with a good view over a huge forest and clearfell. Common Buzzard displayed and soared and high in the distance a male Peregrine brought food in to a female guarding a nearby crag nest. The food was duly dropped, collected and both birds lost to view. Crossbill and Siskin were in abundance. Sadly none of the three species in my plan put in an appearance. The long return journey added Green & Great Spotted Woodpecker and under Punkbirder self found rules (see note below) no.128 Mandarin lounging by the riverside.

Note Punkbirder Self found states Some rare breeders (listed here) are extremely sedentary and are almost never seen away from breeding sites. In order to minimise the risk of disturbance, everyone can tick these species as self found even at known sites.

Note 2 For proper scenic sunset shots check out Hugh Harrop's latest from Orkney here.

1 comment:

James said...

What were you looking for? I went of to the coast yesterday for a harlequin duck which turned out to be a scoter...