Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Lunchtime Twitch

(I should have posted this yesterday!)

I went on my first ever proper drop-everything-and-run twitch!

Lunchbreak had just started, a colleague stuck his head around the lab door; "Have you got your binoculars with you?"

He'd just had a text, a Red Flanked Bluetail had been found in a field behind a church a few minutes away. Just found, in the last hour. Hardly anybody knew...

We leapt into Womble (I say "leapt", but my colleague is rather tall. He rather folded into the seat), and shot off to the next village...

... pulling into the church car park, we crossed into the next field, and found a small group of twitchers already there. Quite a mixed bunch to look at, several had done the same as us and popped out in their lunch break at the call of an SMS (I still had my suit on!), others were more dedicated, and had arrived with full gear - all-weather clothing, bins, scope, large-lens camera...

It was very civilised, newcomers greeted and pointed to the willow with the tiny brown bird, at first keeping company with a flock of robins, then showing on its own in the lowest branches, and even out in the open.

It was quite an odd feeling, but very enjoyable, to be out of bounds like this, with probably the most dedicated bunch of birders I've met in a long time (including the supply teacher I mentioned in Twitch! - he had been the one to find it in the first place and start spreading the word). Quiet, civilised, friendly.

Plenty of photos were taken by the other twitchers (I do not take many bird photos - I just don't seem to have the knack to get them really sharp). Images of this particular bird have been posted by Andrew Easton on the Lounge Lizards website.

I really enjoyed twitching this bird, so far from it's home ground. I may just pop out again...

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