Friday, 8 February 2008

Twitching - Some Long Distance Rarities - Sometimes it may be the only chance you get to see a bird.

Long Billed Murellet - Devon November 2006. A first British record. Identified initially from images posted on the Internet, several days after the sighting. With fears that the bird had disappeared in the meantime, a Twitcher's nightmare loomed....... Fortunately the bird was rediscovered - and then, came the age old dilema ''DO I STAY, OR DO I GO !!! Luckily for the many who were brave ,or foolish enough, to go,and hope it would still be there, the right decision had been made.Not only was the bird showing well, it was doing so in a location where viewing was relatively easy, and a relaxed and thoroughly enjoyable time was had by all - except of course those who were unable to travel, and missed seeing the Murrelet because it was no longer there to be seen the following week-end !!! In the case of the Murellet the bonus was only my second chance to catch up with the regular Devon specialist -Cirl Buntings.Though they are now the subject of a project to extend their breeding range,the only way to see them at the time was to travel to Devon, and, luckily, we only had to travel a few miles to catch up with the local birds.Defiitely a good day out !!!!

Black Guillemots Anglesey August 2005 - so far the only time I have seen them.Very scarce visitors to the Norfolk Coast.

Green Heron - Angelsey November 2005. Not a first for Britain, but still a seriously rare bird, drawinga lot of visitors. Already present for some time, a last minute plot saw us heading to Anglesy on a bitterly cold morning. Not a day too soon as it turned out - the bird was not seen again after that day - though it was still present and showing to a very satisfied group of birders as we left !!! This was only my second visit to the Island, and the bottom picture gives the rather splendid setting for the Heron. A cold start lead to a glorious sunny day - a long way to go, but it all worked out rather well in the end.

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