Wednesday, 27 February 2013

When sitting on your arse pays off

After a couple of months of patchlisting I have begun to realise why more people didn't opt for inland farmland patches. The birds can become a bit repetitive. The same flock of  Chaffinches, the same pair of Mallards flying over, the same stuff on the feeders. When you're on patch every day it all becomes a bit samey. Ok there was a male Stonechat eventually, and a Stock Dove finally flew over  and a Reed bunting but just not much new.
                                           Stonechat looking lonely
With the weather finally drying up there was once more the chance for some habitat creation ... I mean ploughing, getting my priorities mixed up again. It started well a few days ago as a big flock of Gulls gathered but
I was starting to loose hope after three days. The same birds kept reappearing, the  Black Headed Gull with a white colour ring on the left leg that flies off every time I stop the tractor to try to read the ring, the  2nd winter Med Gull with a totally smashed leg that is hanging on by just a tiny piece of skin. I've been tempted to try and reach out of the cab to pull it off just to relieve him of the useless appendage that keeps tripping him up. But nothing new - until today. First time it got away , looked pale mantled, wingtips looked like they had more black than a Common Gull should have but the bill was coated with mud, it was a bit distant and the tractor windows were dirty.
        The second time he reappeared though there was no doubt, he (actually probably a she on size) had washed the bill and allowed a close approach with my mobile hide ... sorry tractor, and allowed an easy id of
adult Ring - billed Gull. Just the second one ever on patch and very well timed for the yearlist. Didn't pose for a photo as it soon departed. The raucous melee behind the plough was building nicely and who knows 
what else might have put in an appearance but the local Buzzard came in and started catching earthworms and put the frighteners on everything else, very nice and all that but really there's a time and a place for everything.
                                                       Buzz Off

54 species and 60 points.

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