Sunday, 22 November 2009

Twitching with anticipation

Well, today I witnessed my first Canadian twitch.
When I arrived at the estuary around 11.00 or so (late I know, but it is Sunday after all) there were at least 6 cars in the parking area! And about 8 people all in search of the palm warbler. That's by the far the highest number of birders I've seen in one location (excepting the organised birdwalks of course) since I moved here. Mind you, it seems that photographers outnumber birders per se out here as there were just as many cameras as there were binoculars...

I met and had a chat with Mike Ashbee who, along with another birder Rich Mooney, had seen the warbler earlier but it had since disappeared and had not been relocated for quite some time.
As the crowd thinned out I continued to check the hedgerows and likely vegetated areas but to no avail.
I took a bit of time to scan through the wildfowl out on the marsh and found 2 drake Eurasian wigeon amongst the Americans plus 3 gadwall in with the pintail.
Up to 3 short-eared owls were on the hunt, and attracting plenty of unwanted attention from the large number of northwestern crows here today. Over 70 of these raucous corvids were in the area - my only conclusion being that maybe the nearby rubbish dump is closed on Sundays and they're seeking foraging opportunities elsewhere?
A northern harrier made frequent appearances as did 2 northern shrikes.
5 western meadowlark were present, again including a singing bird.

It was great seeing a few people out there today and a real pleasure meeting some of the dedicated local birders whose names I have seen on the forums but had yet to bump into.

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