June 28, 2011

White Summer

You see there are birds, normal just every day birds, common as muck birds. Then there are list padders which are better than what you see every day and keep the list ticking along, followed by cripplers, stonkers,  Megas and as Bill Oddie once said there Cosmic Mind Fuckers. Every now and then you get to see a true Cosmic Mind Fucker and they are truly memorable but the White-throated Robin on 6th June was a truly awesome twitch of epic proportions. Certainly this is one twitch that will be talked about for decades to come. It started off all very quietly at the Bowling Green in Olive Street Hartlepool. Civilized even with a rather sedate lady pensioners bowls match.

The robin paraded around the green and in amongst the poppies and dispelled all the angst built up on the fraught journey to Hartlepool via Chesterfield. What a bird and what a poser and what a knob for not having my camera in my car! It was simple done and dusted and I should have gone home with a real blocker in the bag , even before the Seaforth crew arrived. But I didn't and so unfolded what was to become known as "The Siege of The Surgery". There have been lots of blog entries, tweets, Facebook posts,  column inches and even a podcast of a Conference Call about it. This twitch I think is the first real twitch to go viral with Facebook, Twitter and all the new blogs out there. What is unaminous though is that it was perhaps the most memorable & good natured for years, despite how it looked. Because it really did look like a siege of a walled city. All that was needed was the heady smell of cordite in the air and a few stretcher bearers taking the wounded away. But no fights, not even one squabble. What kind of hardcore fringe splinter group descended upon the headland that day?

All of the fights would come later in the month when harsh words would levelled at each other and much bashing keyboards nationwide

So the White-throated Robin started the White Summer. A British Mainland first! What could be better than that?

Well a British First could. I know it was a long from it's home, (America) and a long way from my home and a frigging long way out at sea but it was a first afterall. A White-winged Scoter, it looked mostly like a non-White-winged Scoter apart from looking a little duskier that it's Eurasian cousin and it's bill was little larger and rosier than a Velvet's. The bill! Oh yes the bill. It was much larger, a lot larger. Larger because the usual twitching partners refused a lift to Aberdeen. Although a nice bird to connect with and if accepted then a tick it certainly was not as good as the King Eider on the Ythan Estuary.

Then the third part of our White Summer. The humungous White-tailed Eagle that has been in Lincolnshire for the last couple of months. Just over three miles off the A16 I watched this bird fly in to it's usual loafing area near Ruckland Ponds.

There you have it, three great birds in June, all White and no effin images of any of them. Time for a musical interlude.

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