Sunday, 27 February 2011

Butcher & Yaffle

I rarely twitch, even inside Northumberland I may only go for 'other people's birds' a few times a year. Don't get me wrong, I'm not passing this information on in a bid to gain any kind of moral superiority, I just get more of a kick from the chase, the hunt, than turning up to something I absolutely know is going to be there.
There are no hard and fast rules that I play by on this, If I feel like going to see something, I'll do it and If I don't I won't, it isn't complicated.

My uncomplicated, easy going approach has a flaw, if I decide to see a bird found by eyes other than my own and fail, it niggles. Should the recipient of my attentions subsequently reveal itself again, I take it badly. It gets personal. The chase is back on.

Andy Mclevy raised his bins to a distant tree topped bird he expected to be a Great Spotted Woodpecker and found a Great Grey Shrike in Harwood on 21st January, in roughly the same area as last year's bird. I didn't need it but I like shrikes so I trundled up the following day and hiked the mile to where it had been seen and the next mile to where it or another had hung out last year, then hiked the mile and a half back, shrike-less.

Not a problem, till the report of it's continued presence came the following day, so a few days later back I went, several hours of muddy trudging and hunting later I returned with damp toes and once again shrike-less. 'What grudge could this particular shrike have?'I wondered and 'How shite do you have to be not to be able to find it?' in my darker moods.

So it was then that when I reached the road exiting the estate this morning I could go left to the coast, a bright morning, light breeze perhaps some movement on the sea....or... I could go right on yet another shrike search, reinforcing my inadequacy and ending my weekend making the best of four Crossbills and a f.f..f..flyover Siskin in a blog post that deliberately and shamelessly glosses over the fact that I went looking for someone else's shrike, again.

Or not


Oh and the expected f..ff..flyover was a Green Woodpecker today rather than Siskin.

1 comment:

Pete Woodruff said...

An excellent post which I thoroughly enjoyed reading.

Exactly what birding and blogging is all about. Its what I'd have wanted to say about the whole thing but probably wouldn't have done so as good as you did Alan.

'How shite do you have to be not to be able to find it'....in my darker moods....me to a T!