Tuesday, 16 November 2021

A Funny Old Autumn...

It has been a funny old autumn. And for many birders, very underwhelming. Birdy Twitter is largely agreed upon this. Correction. Non-Yorkshire birdy Twitter is largely agreed upon this. Speaking for myself though, I never expect that much anyway. Almost all my birding involves walking and walking, and looking, and hoping something pops up in front of me. And to be honest, this year has been better in some respects than last year. Redstart-wise, for example, definitely it has. By a factor of 20-something to one. But still, it has certainly been a very strange autumn. Here are some reasons why...

1. The rarest bird I found, and a first for the West Bex and Cogden recording area - Melodious Warbler - was in July. Which isn't really autumn at all.

2. The second-rarest bird I found - Caspian Gull - I failed to identify correctly until after it had flown off and I looked at the photos!

3. The biggest adrenaline rush - by far - was produced by a juv Peregrine (see previous post).

4. The second-biggest adrenaline rush was produced by a White-tailed Eagle from the Isle of Wight reintroduction sheme. Plastic. A plastic barn door. And I mean that in the nicest possible way.

5. The bird I probably enjoyed the most because it was such a challenging little puzzler - Greenland Redpoll - was not found by me at all!

6. And to cap it all, my most satisfying find - and the rarest of the lot, a Dorset first - was Tree Cricket.

7. Which reminds me that the other two firsts for the West Bex and Cogden recording area that I was fortunate enough to find this autumn were also not birds: Chalk Hill Blue and Lesser Emperor.

Possibly there are lessons I should be drawing from that weird list of autumn highlights...

Mind you, technically I guess autumn isn't over until the end of this month, so there is yet time for some quality. Like a count of Goldcrests greater than two.

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