13 April 2009

Hello Molly

Today was another tale of potterage in search of acquiescent Cetti's interspersed with a few recently arrived migrants and one stonking patch rare (possibly only the second for the reserve, cue sharp intake of breath).

The less-than-red-letter birds included: 20+ Cettis, a similar number of Reed Warbler, 8 Sedge Warbler, 2 Whitethroat, 4 Swallow and a LRP. However, whilst wandering along the northern edge of Reedbed 8, I couldn't help but notice Wood Warbler song drifting across from the Uskmouth grasslands, took a while to nail it (top tip: a parabolic mic sure helps in pin-pointing distant phylloscs) but, after a few minutes, it briefly flitted about in the top of a Hawthorn hedge circa 200 yards away - patch tick, and a bright yellow and Persil white one to boot. Luckily, after a circumnavigation of the easternmost reedbeds, I bumped into it again along the 'green lane' (about 50 yards from where the Redstart had been on Saturday), and it sounded a bit like this (note Cetti's background vocal)...

PS. Stumbled over a great new way of suggesting dog-walkers put their mutts on leads whilst on the reserve, a simple five-step method: 1. when being approached by unencumbered canines keep your ears open and see if you can't work out the dog's name (it is usually being shouted at high volume in an effort to recall the dog as the owners know full well they are meant to be on leads); 2. wander up to the dog in a jovial/approachable fashion; 3. on meeting the dog, crouch down and whilst fussing the pooch say, in a voice clearly audible to the owners, "Hello [enter name here], hate to ask mate but where the [enter expletive of choice ('hell' on a good day, something else on a bad day)] is your lead?"; 4. maintain eye contact with the dog, try to look as if you are expecting a reply (do not acknowledge the owner's presence in any way, shape or form); 5. remain 'conversing' with the dog whilst the owner retrieves their pet and leaves wondering why all birders are borderline psychotics.

1 comment:

Peter Alfrey said...

I think the sight of you walking around with a satellite dish is enough for the locals to think you are pyschotic. Then talking to animals..well- I thought I was nuts. The madder the better I reckon. Great recording. I need that bad boy on the farm.