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The Miscellaneous Tales of a Bundling Birder... (1 Viewer)

Ok so I'm new in these parts but keen to 'get stuck in'. I'll be posting a few blogs here, how often is yet to be decided, like most resolutions at this time of year they tend to have been thrown out along with the leftover debris of Christmas by the end of January, well we'll see.

I am not a bird expert, not even close I am a person who likes birds, knows a lot more than I sometimes realise even if I have to check the bird guide to confirm my hunches. I'll save the Oliver Twist story of how I spent the slightly over half a century of my life in and out of birding and finally like a reluctant groom got up the point where I've finally committed, or perhaps being committed will be the result of all this!

Anyway to begin I will just begin with today, a rather inclement day down here in Cornwall, that is a posh way of saying it was littered with wintry showers and gusty wind, the sort of gloomy day when daylight seems to spend most of the day struggling to make an appearance and time as a result seems to stand still, early morning drags on and never seems to end and then all of a sudden it's dark again and you try to figure out what happened to the bit in the middle.

Due to an unfortunate 'incident' last week in which one of the only six people we saw kindly gave my wife a dose of the latest Covid strain we have had another week of self isolation, I say another because we both had last summer's delta strain too, not that we are trying to collect them or anything. Anyway thanks to the Good Lord, she has had relatively minor symptoms this time but still, for the very simple reason of not passing it to me so I can take care of her, she has been confined to sick quarters for the week. With the persistent gloomy weather it's been a long week. To combat the boredom today whilst staring out of the back door early this morning to at least do some 'backyard birding', or rather birding over the back wall which opens out onto farmland, I often dwell around this spot with a pair of binoculars on standby but seldom for more than a few minutes except in the summer months when I like to rise early and sit outside and enjoy the sunrise and watch nature waking up but today the idea came to me to spend one hour and see how many species I could spot and then make a list after all lists are apparently often part of this hobby.

I confess I was encouraged by a sighting of Siberian Chiffchaff yesterday which I spent rather a long time confirming it was a Siberian and not a Common, (look at me, talking like a birder!) Anyway as I got a good few minutes to observe the little chap, I was able to be fairly certain it was the former, there have been a few sightings not far from here over the last fortnight. I had of course hoped that he might have shown up today, and perhaps at some point he did, probably while I was running another cup of tea up the stairs. However here is my list from the hour from ten till eleven o'clock this morning.

Chaffinch (male and female)
Blue Tit
Great Tit
Great Spotted Woodpecker
and not quite within the hour but just after a flock of Fieldfares

Not a huge list but for a day in which the birds seemed to be keeping out of the worst of the showers and wind a most enjoyable hour.

The only bird that I won't include is the House Sparrows, not that I have anything against them, it's just well, you know how they are, taking over the feeders like a mob of football hooligans. I was told a few years back that House Sparrows where diminishing, and that maybe true in certain parts and if you happen to live such place and have noticed their absence, don't worry, they've just relocated, they've moved in next door to me!

Well that's long enough and by now I doubt anyone will have even read my ramblings to this point, but if you did, many thanks. I may repeat the exercise again tomorrow perhaps at a different time out of scientific interest, or probably more like when the moment grabs me, though with a possible incoming storm I might just keep the door closed. Until then I'm off to wash the feeders which I bought in this evening after grumbling in my best Victor Meldrew voice at the Sparrows for making such a mess, their not even paying guests! They get fed a rather expensive and varied menu of foods which hardly ever runs out for long before being refilled, I told them they should learn some table manners and clean up after themselves. It won't do any good, I know, I told them last time. Right that's it I am definitely finishing here, so till next time. Happy birding all and stay safe. (I wonder how long we'll be using that phrase in departure now? It's become a part of everyday language, even when this pandemic is all over we'll still be saying it, probably years from now the phrase will have it's origin as recorded in this last two years.) Goodnight.......

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