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Weirdest UK Twitch

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Old Monday 5th November 2018, 19:20   #26
angusmcoatup
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White-winged Black Tern on the Serpentine. Nipped off from a rare shopping trip with my missus on Oxford Street, watched the bird, surrounded by throngs of indifferent tourists, went back for a meal in Chinatown.
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Old Monday 5th November 2018, 19:41   #27
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Hartlepudlians from Hartlepool
I didn't think that was the term for people from Hartlepool....

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Old Monday 5th November 2018, 19:56   #28
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My first Olive backed Pipit in a tiny garden in Brixham, Devon, 1997 if I remember correctly? I remember watching it from the house owners kitchen window. I was only young but the garden seemed so small, you couldn’t imagine a rare bird like that in it!
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Old Monday 5th November 2018, 20:52   #29
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I didn't think that was the term for people from Hartlepool....

John
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Old Monday 5th November 2018, 21:29   #30
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Phoning up Birdline in November 1987, getting news of a Rose-coloured Starling in an unlikely sounding place called Christmas pie, making a feeble excuse in the office, driving somewhere near the Hogg’s Back, finding the place, standing in a small garden in my three-piece suit, getting amazing views of this charismatic bird, giving some money to the girl guides, dashing back and very nearly losing my job due to an extremely long lunch hour. I have to say it was all rather fraught but huge fun also. Mike
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Old Monday 5th November 2018, 21:41   #31
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My first Olive backed Pipit in a tiny garden in Brixham, Devon, 1997 if I remember correctly? I remember watching it from the house owners kitchen window. I was only young but the garden seemed so small, you couldn’t imagine a rare bird like that in it!
I stood for a couple of hours in that kitchen and the OBP was out of sight in the garden that backed on to his garden. I thought I had better go and see if my wife was OK in the car and of course the minute I walked out the front door the OBP flew in to the garden. When I returned after about 30 minutes everyone else had gone but fortunately the OBP was still showing well.
Incidently the owner of the house Nigel Smallbones runs regular boat trips out in to Lyme Bay and posts his sightings on the Devon Birds web site. Roger
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Old Monday 5th November 2018, 22:21   #32
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I stood for a couple of hours in that kitchen and the OBP was out of sight in the garden that backed on to his garden. I thought I had better go and see if my wife was OK in the car and of course the minute I walked out the front door the OBP flew in to the garden. When I returned after about 30 minutes everyone else had gone but fortunately the OBP was still showing well.
Incidently the owner of the house Nigel Smallbones runs regular boat trips out in to Lyme Bay and posts his sightings on the Devon Birds web site. Roger
I've seen 2 OBP's in the UK Roger, Brixham and Bracknell. Yet to see one when I've been outdoors !
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Old Monday 5th November 2018, 23:06   #33
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Phoning up Birdline in November 1987, getting news of a Rose-coloured Starling in an unlikely sounding place called Christmas pie, making a feeble excuse in the office, driving somewhere near the Hogg’s Back, finding the place, standing in a small garden in my three-piece suit, getting amazing views of this charismatic bird, giving some money to the girl guides, dashing back and very nearly losing my job due to an extremely long lunch hour. I have to say it was all rather fraught but huge fun also. Mike
I remember that one, in the garden of a house called "Muffins"! My best lunch hour twitch was a Dark-eyed Junco behind some garages in Chester.
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Old Monday 5th November 2018, 23:46   #34
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This is a classic, very entertaining, Birdforum thread, a discussion off at a tangent with the odd post related to the original thrown in for good measure!
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Old Tuesday 6th November 2018, 00:11   #35
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I stood for a couple of hours in that kitchen and the OBP was out of sight in the garden that backed on to his garden. I thought I had better go and see if my wife was OK in the car and of course the minute I walked out the front door the OBP flew in to the garden. When I returned after about 30 minutes everyone else had gone but fortunately the OBP was still showing well.
Incidently the owner of the house Nigel Smallbones runs regular boat trips out in to Lyme Bay and posts his sightings on the Devon Birds web site. Roger
IIRC Nigel also helped run a local youth rugby team and the money raised from birders standing in his kitchen helped fund their summer tour to France.

In similar vein we could practically have held a Somerset OS committee meeting in the conservatory of a house in East Coker 16 Nov 2008, waiting for the Dark-eyed Junco to show.
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Old Tuesday 6th November 2018, 14:44   #36
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Short-toed Treecreeper at Dungeness from Scilly. It was almost a case how many different vehicles we can use getting to the bird and back.

Flew off Scilly (we were leaving anyway), drove home to Essex where switched cars (the driver wasn't going to Kent), the new drivers switched car broke down outside Lydd, Recovery vehicle to garage somewhere nearby, trying to persuade the garage to drop us at the bird in the recovery vehicle, getting a taxi to the Obs, seeing the bird, getting a lift back with birding mates friend to Lydd, taxi to garage, getting a different relay vehicle home with the broken down car, getting another taxi from friends house to home.
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Old Tuesday 6th November 2018, 15:11   #37
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Originally Posted by JWN Andrewes View Post
I remember that one, in the garden of a house called "Muffins"! My best lunch hour twitch was a Dark-eyed Junco behind some garages in Chester.
Dave Walters wrote the birdline NW report for 1998 and for the Junco's section I was desperately trying to persuade him to write; special thanks to Richard Bonser for spreading his seed up the shopkeeper's back alley. He wouldn't do it for some reason.......

Last edited by Jonathan Williams : Tuesday 6th November 2018 at 15:16.
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Old Tuesday 6th November 2018, 16:28   #38
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Dave Walters wrote the birdline NW report for 1998 and for the Junco's section I was desperately trying to persuade him to write; special thanks to Richard Bonser for spreading his seed up the shopkeeper's back alley. He wouldn't do it for some reason.......
Tut tut!
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Old Tuesday 6th November 2018, 16:48   #39
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I think I'm going to go for the singing spring Eye-browed Thrush at the wonderfully named Mains of Auchmithie near Arbroath in, I think, 1995. There wasn't anything outright odd about the occasion, but it was a spur-of-the-moment twitch that I did while at university (which turned into a holiday in the Highlands too), driving up from Yorks. LGRE was there, of course, but there was only a handful of us in the evening light. Looking back it seems dreamlike, and I barely remember the bird itself, though I'm pretty sure it was hopping around a lawn strewn with daffodils, if memory serves me right. Nowadays I debate driving an hour to the Norfolk coast for a bird, so a seven-hour drive seems pretty steep...
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Old Tuesday 6th November 2018, 16:55   #40
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Dave Walters wrote the birdline NW report for 1998 and for the Junco's section I was desperately trying to persuade him to write; special thanks to Richard Bonser for spreading his seed up the shopkeeper's back alley. He wouldn't do it for some reason.......
Simply because one of the previous years reports saw me write a paragraph explaining that a Lesser Yellowlegs had been seen giving a Redshank a good seeing too which didn't go down well and also being threatened with legal action over calling someone fat in print!
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Old Tuesday 6th November 2018, 18:22   #41
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Bloody good seeing to actually.
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Old Tuesday 6th November 2018, 20:55   #42
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Short-toed Treecreeper at Dungeness from Scilly. It was almost a case how many different vehicles we can use getting to the bird and back.

Flew off Scilly (we were leaving anyway), drove home to Essex where switched cars (the driver wasn't going to Kent), the new drivers switched car broke down outside Lydd, Recovery vehicle to garage somewhere nearby, trying to persuade the garage to drop us at the bird in the recovery vehicle, getting a taxi to the Obs, seeing the bird, getting a lift back with birding mates friend to Lydd, taxi to garage, getting a different relay vehicle home with the broken down car, getting another taxi from friends house to home.
I can't rival that (even the infamous Booted Eagle weekend only involved four cars), but I did once have a to borrow a vehicle at very short notice so turned up at the 1997 Bough Beech Res Little Crake in a red and white pub minibus.
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Old Tuesday 6th November 2018, 21:06   #43
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The Short-toed Treecreeper at the commune in Essex (Bradwell?) was pretty far out.

Still think the Robin is the benchmark and I'm glad I saw it from the top of ladder perched precariously on a wall rather than parading itself on one of the bowling greens
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Old Tuesday 6th November 2018, 21:26   #44
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Still think the Robin is the benchmark and I'm glad I saw it from the top of ladder perched precariously on a wall rather than parading itself on one of the bowling greens
It was bizarre. I saw the Robin from the roof of a white van but there were ladders everywhere. It was like Micheal Bentine’s Potty Time met Lord of the Rings.
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Old Tuesday 6th November 2018, 21:49   #45
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Indigo Bunting Ramsey Island. Sat in the car in the rain listening to the radio all day thinking this was never going to work, then eventually queued with hundreds of others to be shuttled by RIB to the island to see the bird. Getting on the boat was a precarious matter of tiptoeing down a wet lifeboat slipway then hurling oneself into the boat to be caught by the crew and steadied towards a seat.

Coming off again I overheard a guy saying it was the best twitch ever because it was the first one on which he had started by throwing himself into the arms of a blonde woman in a rubber suit.

Got back to the car to find the radio and windscreen wiper use all day had flattened the battery. Luckily hurtling downhill on the rough track towards the slipway provided sufficient impulse to start it and then all I had to do was slither to a halt before going straight in, reverse up the wet muddy track with a bootful of revs desperately trying to avoid stalling it and having to repeat, and head off home.

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Old Tuesday 6th November 2018, 22:06   #46
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The Short-toed Treecreeper at the commune in Essex (Bradwell?) was pretty far out.

Still think the Robin is the benchmark and I'm glad I saw it from the top of ladder perched precariously on a wall rather than parading itself on one of the bowling greens
Agree on both of these. The Bradwell commune place was creepy. Just a silent one story building in the middle of nowhere. Crouched watching the bird in a quagmire.
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Old Tuesday 6th November 2018, 23:05   #47
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Indigo Bunting Ramsey Island.
We were stopped by the rozzers on the way down for this, they were hunting an escape prisoner. Our driver looked very sus in all his camo gear, but they decided we were harmless in the end and let us go!
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Old Wednesday 7th November 2018, 00:18   #48
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Got stopped by the old bill on the way to the Kenfig Pied-Billed Grebe.




'What are you doing out and about at this time of night " ? they asked while flashing a torch in my face.

"Going to see a bird " I replied.

"Where have you come from " ? was the next question


"From Essex " I replied.


"Fark me..must be some bird you've pulled to travel this far to see her" was their incredulous response.


"Actually the bird is very rare..from the USA..and has got feathers not melons " was my reply.


Cue looks of astonishment on their faces as I drove off.


Another one was the Greater Yellowlegs at Minsmere.In the race to get there during the day I hit a Little Owl.Fearing the worst I stopped the car to check it out.There it was sat on the track glaring at me before it flew off none the worse : )


I get to the first hide on arrival at the reserve..no sign of the bird .I see people running like headless chickens around the reserve.I leap out of the hide and ask if the Greater Yellowlegs has been seen again."No,but a farking Black-winged Pratincole has just flown in "was the breathless reply.

Saw the Pratincole that day and went back and got the Yellowlegs three days later when it re-appeared.


Finally,i was driving to Lands End for a Black Kite ,back when they were practically impossible to successfully twitch.

It was overnight and we couldn't find any petrol stations open on the A30.I was driving in my car and my passengers were getting very anxious as the petrol gauge got lower and lower.

We got to the top of a hill as we arrived in Penzance,and the car died on me as we finally ran out of petrol,so the car rolled down the hill,i did a right at the roundabout at the bottom, with fortunately no other car about, and rolled up to the petrol pump at the garage on the roundabout,with me telling the attendant to "fill her up "
to be met with my bemused passengers saying "stroll on Steve..you cut that fine" : )
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Old Wednesday 7th November 2018, 07:53   #49
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Surely all these twitching antics would make a good book?
I’d certainly buy one for Christmas.
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Old Wednesday 7th November 2018, 08:54   #50
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Double crested Cormorant.

Two burly blokes in Barbours eventually got to Middlesborough around 11 pm. We drove to the car park overlooking the lake and parked up for the night, between two other cars. We reclined the seats and began to doze off.

The creaks and groans began from the cars on either side of us, with the groans turning to panting and screaming. Dogging hadn't been invented yet, but it was clear that our intent wasn't shared by the bonkers who flanked us.

We giggled, sniggered and eventually guffawed.

We pulled our seats upright and all three couples set eyes on each other, through heavily misted up windows.

The bonkers departed, unaware that our purpose wasn't a sexual one.

Night cleared to day and the bird sat in front of us.

The most boring bird I've ever twitched.

Peter
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