Friday, 18 January 2013

Am i mad!!!!

Carrying on the slow start to the year, I've hardly been out at all and no twitches apart the GWE at Chenies. So, i was getting a bit desperate, especially with quite a bit of nice stuff around - Amwell has a lot of good gulls, the buff-bellied pipits are still around. There was also a ybw at Moor Green. No there wasn't -there was a Pallas's Warbler!! Re identified over the weekend after studying photos, and the result of a large titch, i now had a lifer within grasp. Work as ever got in the way, as did imminent blizzard conditions. I did manage to negotiate a "wfh" today though and planned an early start. The blizzard was due to strike mid-morning, but if i left early i could get the bird first.
Two things. First, check where you're going. Moor Green isn't by Heathrow, its damn nearly Reading, first mistake. Second, that meant i was driving straight towards the snow!!
So, about half way there it started to snow, and snow, and snow. By the time i got to the car-park it wasn't exactly a blizzard, but it was snowing pretty hard and settling. Still, i had my foul-weather gear, so coat and trousers on, welly boots to the ready off i trudged.
Near where the Pallas's was reported another birder was just leaving. "its down there with the goldcrests".  ok - it was normally with ltt's but hey, it could be anywhere. 25 minutes searching up and down the bank - not a sniff. Few goldcrests around yes, but nothing exciting.
Snow was getting harder, and i started to think about getting stuck - oh, and the 11am telecon i had with work! So, a slow trudge back, year off to an even worse start. Then, calling in the trees and a couple of ltt's flitted past. Eureka. They all moved past me pretty fast so i sprinted about 30 yards to catch them. There it was, feeding low down. Beautiful eye-stripe, wing-bards the lot. Cracker, and a lifer to boot. However, not the day to stop and stare. Back to car quickly and a very slidy exit along narrow lanes to get back for my phone-call. A better start to the year after all!!!