28 October, 2011

Larkin' About

Larkin' About

I've just realised that I haven't mentioned the word 'bird' on this blog in 4 moths months, ironic considering the name of this blog is 'Bill's Birding'.

Anyway, I twitched bird today- a Shorelark. It's a very special Shorelark as a matter of fact, being the first Shorelark to be seen in Surrey since the late 1980s. Whilst they are usually to be expected along the East and coast in late autumn, one bird had decided to make Queen Elizabeth II reservoir its temporary hang out for the last couple of days, and yesterday morning I took a chance and decided to head down to try and break my birding drought.

It was an extremely early start at half 9 in the morning, but after two cups of tea and a tube of Smarties, the hardcore twitcher inside of me managed to drag my body out of the house, onto a bike, to a train station, onto a train, off a train, over a fence (gates are for lazy permit holders), past guard dogs and finally up a hill to a large pond...


They may need new guard dogs after what I did to them...


The bird was a bugger to find, prefering to feed low down in the reservoir gunk as far away from any human as possible, and the slightest sign of aggression from one of the millions of Pied Wagtails also present would send it shooting off to the other side of the reservoir. Eventually I pinned it down metres away from where I had first entered the reservoir, but not before I'd completed a 2 mile lap around the bloody place in search of the bird.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year material right there...




This seems to be a recurring problem when I'm with birds...


On the contrary, I was fighting off swarms of these...


and these...



One of the reservoir's regulars, Dave Harris, also found a bonus Short-eared Owl whilst we were waiting for the Lark. It showed brilliantly, for passengers on the planes taking off from Heathrow a few miles away...

2 comments:

Christian said...

I wonder how many passengers even looked! I do, every time I leave the rough grasses of the airport!

Devil Birder said...

I must be the only person in Surrey not to have seen this bloody Shorelark yet! And gah a week of college before I can go. What a stupid decision it was going to Scilly....! ;-)