Thursday, 26 June 2014

Aussies who are (were) English !

Wednesday June 25

Many years ago, in the early years of its inception, I joined BirdingPal, mainly in order to use its services abroad, whilst also offering mine as a birding guide in Norfolk. Over the years I have had several requests for help, most of them not convenient - health or holiday - others cancelled by the visitor for various reasons. Usually Americans who don't realise that a day trip to Norfolk from Bedford for example, by public transport, is not feasible. That was the latest, earlier this year, until I was contacted by Penny, who wanted to see Bearded Tit at Titchwell.I knew that she and her husband Martin were from Australia but had no idea of their expertise, age etc.
We arranged to meet outside the cafe at 9.00, they had stayed the night at the Briarfield just down the road. Penny and Martin turned out to be a very pleasant couple who's company we thoroughly enjoyed. They emigrated to Sydney eighteen years ago and were encouraged to take up birding by the profusion of colourful birds there. They are now keen and dedicated members of an active conservation group. Martin takes excellent photographs and has produced a membership, bird ID leaflet, much copied by other groups. We were presented with one each.
We should have picked them up at the Briarfields so that they didn't have to pay RSPB charges. Afterthought is no use at all.
Finding Bearded Tits for a good look is not easy, they fly close above the reeds for short distances and land out of sight - mostly. We have had very good perched views but, only by juveniles yesterday. A female Red-crested Pochard and her 5 ducklings were a delight. They were very vocal and agitated when she flew away to a distant pool. So were we. Odd behaviour. She soon returned and all was calm again. M and P loved that experience. They'd also seen a Barn Owl from the breakfast table.
Late June is not a good birding time. We managed a lone Ruff, Little Ringed Plover, Spotted and Common Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit, Common Tern, Meadow Pipit, Linnet, Reed Bunting, Chiffchaff, Pochard, Wigeon and Marsh Harrier. The main target was the Beardies so that was achieved.
We left them after a leisurely lunch at Titchwell as I had several dizzy spells due to my inner ear problem. Maybe it's time for me to take my name off the BP list.........

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