Friday, 25 February 2011
25th February 2011 - The dipping continues
It has been an unbelievably bad month for twitching for me and my mate Kieran, and it's one thats going to be remembered in the future for all the wrong reasons. There has been quite a bit about but for a variety of reasons we have just dipped everything. This run of bad luck started with the Ring Billed Gull no show and few weeks ago and continued into last weekend. Kieran had travelled all the way from Norfolk to join me and another mate of mine Pete Bateup to go and see the Oriental Turtle Dove thats been kicking around Chipping Norton. We arrived on site at midday and made our way down to the area in which it had been seen, and its not a very easy place to bird! The street in question is a row of terraced house with a few semi's along the way - and its through these gaps you have to look to try and glimpse the bird in the trees in the back gardens. The chap who lives in number 41 has had the bird in his back garden feeding so has kindly opened up his house so people can view the bird for a small donation to Birdlife International. After and hour the man at number 41 gestured that the dove was in his garden so frantically lots of people rowed up to get in and see it. Unfortunately it was at this point ( when I was looking down to take my boots off and Kieran and Pete were busy putting their scopes onto the front garden) the bird flew from the garden and over the road. If only we were looking up at the right time!! Only 2 people saw it leave out of about 50. We then spent the rest of the day searching in vain, along with about about 100 birders who all dipped as well. With a heavy heart we called it a day and made our way back cheering ourselves up with a post birding pint in the Loco on the way home. The Sunday also went spectacularly wrong and this time it was my fault. Kieran had asked me to take him back to Norfolk today to save him a 4 hour bus journey, so we decided to get to Lynford Arboretum to try and get the Firecrest that had been reported there. On the way Kieran kindly offered to put some fuel in the car to pay for the journey so blurred eyed I pulled onto the forecourt and promptly put a load of petrol in my car - problem is my car is a diesel!! I have just learnt the hard way that as of last year the colour coding (black for dieasel, green for unleaded etc) of pumps has since stopped being common standard of doing things so the forecourts are now colouring their pumps whatever they like - no doubt so they can put more advertising on there. So when I picked up a black pump with a black handle I wasn't expecting unleaded to come out. I didn't realise I had done this until I had started the engine and was on my way to Cambridge. A quick chat to a few mechanic friends of mine all pointed in one direction and that was to fill the car to the brim with diesel and hope for the best. After all of this mayhem we finally arrived at Lynford 2 hours after we had planned to be told that an hour earlier a Firecrest had been showing very well in the bushes near the bridge right by the footpath and after a fruitless search of about 3 hours we both decided to right off the weekend as a another bad one. Fingers crossed the car seems ok now and it has been a weekend I will be hoping to forget, I somehow don't think it will be that easy though! Roll on spring!!