Saturday, 28 March 2015

Einstein was no patch birder

          Einstein said the definition of insanity was doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results. It was a remark that crossed my mind as I made my way to the reservoirs for the second day in succession. Despite the sunshine and a gentle breeze yesterday, I recorded not a single migrant except for a singing Blackcap in the rail bushes between the Warwicks. No Wheatears, no Sand Martins, not even a Meadow Pipit though Jamie had plenty on the marsh (along with a low flying Buzzard). The best birds I had were a Lapwing and Jackdaw going east over Lockwood and the long-staying pair of Scaup. Even the two new birds had scarpered.
         So given today was windy and damp (the very reason I had taken yesterday off so I could visit in good weather), it really did not make much sense to return. As I suspected, there were still no migrants but as I tried to sneak up on the pair of Scaup to see if I could get slightly less crap photographs with my new pocket camera, I looked up and saw a Red Kite flying low to the west. By the time I got my camera out, switched on and found the Kite, it was somewhere over Amersham but to my astonishment, you can can actually (with a good imagination) make out its tail. Not quite up to Jonathan's standard but it is exactly why I bought it and with practice I might be a bit quicker getting it set up.

                                          It's a Kite ...honest

It also meant, with yesterday's Jackdaw, that I have filled in two days the remaining two embarrassing gaps in my reservoirs' life list - and added four species in March. As I am now close to 140 for the reservoirs alone, I can't imagine that will ever happen again. As Graham who was at the far end of Lockwood - the Kite must have flown between us - turned back and returned the way he had come, I continued along the west side where I thought I had a female Goosander, then doubted my own eyes only to find I had been right in the first place.

            I could only see two Goldeneye where there were six yesterday among the 13 I counted on all the reservoirs. Another Blackcap was singing in the top field but like yesterday's bird kept out of sight and off my year list (no new fangled ABA rules for me). I had a quick look on the Warwick banks (where progress continues on the by-pass with a new ramp being built to the top of East Warwick) to make sure there were no Wheatears - and there weren't - and then decided to cut the visit short. Einstein was too smart to ignore completely.
                                         A ramp to nowhere....

                                         Slightly less crappy photograph
DB @porthkillier

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