Started the day with a garden tick at 04:35; a Cuckoo, somewhere on the opposite side of the valley, its voice stirring the motionless air just enough to reach across the intervening gloom.
The International Dawn Chorus Day walk primarily produced 20 pairs of bleary eyes and, hopefully, 20 lightly massaged brains betwixt 20 pairs of birdsong soothed ears. On the bird front, it turned up most of the usual haul (we somehow dipped Lesser Whitethroat) plus Grasshopper Warbler, Hobby and Marsh Harrier.
Then it was off down Saltmarsh Lane where some ear-catching and slightly out of place 'chirrips'
signalled the end of a long wait for Tree Sparrow within the boundaries of the reserve. A bit of a patch mega and, given the tiny local breeding population isn't showing any signs of increasing, likely to remain so for the foreseeable. There was very little else down the lane though so, before fatigue and rapidly falling blood-sugar levels took me down for the day, I headed for two cereal bars and Goldcliff. Despite the fact that a Crane lumbered over westward, the two male Garganey were about the best of the pools. A few years ago the Crane would have been worthy of red-letters and much celebratory swearing but is now, thanks to the 'The Great
[sic] Crane PRoject'
, reduced to being written off as the semi-feral escape that it probably was. Of course, due to the fact that this bird went over at no insignificant altitude, and photos failed to rule in or out the presence of colour rings, we will never know if we chucked away the second, albeit highly unlikely, patch mega of the day. The true status of Crane in the UK is now utterly buggered due to our collective inability to capture the public's interest with naturally occurring wetland wildlife and, instead, opting for an ornithological distraction technique aimed at the lowest common denominator. To paraphrase Frankie Boyle, it's the equivalent of some guy from the WWT, RSPB, or wherever going "Look at the big shiny shiny bird"
,... "No need to make the effort to appreciate what's already here"
,... "Look at the big shiny shiny bird."
Muppetry for muppets.
Not the best songster in the world ever but they do play ball don't they.
PS. Please note the title is, as I'm sure you know, a reference to a Kurt Donald Cobain quote about the dawn chorus and nothing to do with one's anti-pointless-reintroductions rant. Boing. Time for bed.