Monday, 16 August 2010

Hattie Jacques couldn't have hid in there!

But the Sykes Warbler certainly did..........this morning anyway. Dull weather, I contemplated not bothering but such a once in a lifetime bird and anyway, even if it gets Booted it's still a lifer for me. So off up to Druridge in a complete daze following the Birdguides instructions wondering why there were so few cars in the car park but stumped up my £1.40 for two hours and walked through the hedge to realise I could have driven round and parked for free like everyone else.....pratttt.
Joined the assembled throng around 9.00 lining up behind photographers I knew would have the angle and waited. Some stirrings at the base of the hawthorn bush indicated the bird still present but branches moving is hardly a tick. Eventually a flash as the bird darted round the side of the bush and the body of folk began to drift up the dunes to try to get an angle with more folk arriving all the time. I stayed put as I never seem to succeed when I chase birds (of any classification). Time passed and a few glimpses must have been had by the duneside folk but my mind was wandering along the lines of the title of this post. All geared up to take photographs I unleashed my 500D on two fellow bloggers.

Eventually just as my parking ticket was about to expire the bird appeared from the side of the bush and flew to another less dense, flatter hawthorn. The flight style wasn't typically warbler to my mind, more Blue Tit. But I had definately seen the bird so returning to the car I chatted to a bloke from Peterlee then drove round and parked just 50m from the bird and set up again. This time the bird was more active making forays to the top branches and once appearing to flycatch. But it was not settled and flew once again to Hawthorn Bush 3 illustrated majestically below (the bird's in there honest) when I was advised by a Yorkshire chap that if the cameramen would move away from the vantage point near the first bush the bird would return there. But the swarm was now nearing 60 and the persuit was calm but hot.

Not wanting to be predictable the bird flew to a fourth bush this time with little foliage and not very big. It stayed generally to the back of the bush but was feeding constantly and finally at 11.40 I got a view through the scope with colour, beak, supercilium...the lot.
Definately a warbler I concluded.
More folk arrived and I departed before four Yorkshiremen (or frankly four birders of any breed) got together and started off the sketch.
'Nah lad, when ah had t'at Booted in 2005....................'


  1. Bloody Hell, a blogger blogging snaps of bloggers. I feel a list coming on! My twitch 'virginity' was lost this morning, and you photographed it. Have we met before, by the way?

  2. You may remember me from such meetings as no Quail whilst dog walking with possible Little Ringed Plover at West Hartford and rock all at East Chevington about four weeks ago.

  3. Ah! So you are the guy with the 'mature' blue Astra?