Wednesday 9 September 2009

Alpine Swiftly located (with just a little help)

Picture by Simon West - Many thanks.

Being an Essex/east London boy I have rarely ventured to sowf or norf London apart from attending the odd football match. So when an Alpine Swift turned up in Alexandra Park on Sunday it didn’t really gave a Scooby do where I was going. With my passport stamped, visa granted and making sure I had an up to date tetanus injection I ventured into norf London on Sunday with my 9 year old, Jamie. We arrived at Alexandra Park, parked up and set off to find the bird.

The bird was apparently showing well over the filter beds area of the park. I had a quick look on Google maps before we left home, which confirmed the park itself was quite small and there was one body of water. This would be easy. Jamie and I spent the following 40 minutes walking around the park, asking the locals about the “ well known” filter beds area only to be greeting with puzzled looks and a lot of shrugging of shoulders.

Completely stumped I called fellow birder Ray Parker Lethbridge (see below) for some advice and he activated his new Lethbridge Telephone WalkNav devise immediately. At this point I will refer you Jonathan’s blog for a detailed and almost accurate recount of our conversation. Obviously the bit about me being a tad unfit is not true. I am very unfit! (http://www.wansteadbirder.blogspotcom/).

After 10 minutes of guiding me to where we wanted to be, up hills, round bends, across cricket pitches, through streams, passed burnt out cars (only joking) etc we were there and so was the Alpine Swift (life tick 358). I have always wanted to see one so was chuffed. A superb powerful looking bird.

Anyway, in order to thank Jonathan for his gallant effort in getting us there I have composed the following. (Please read/sing to the tune of Ghostbusters, by Ray Parker Junior)

When you get lost
When you’re on a twitch,
Who ya gonna call
J Lethbridge

If the directions are crap
And you’ve got no map
Who ya gonna call
J Lethbridge

You’ve walked round and round
But it can’t be found
Who ya gonna call
J Lethbridge

I ain’t afraid of no dip
I aint afraid of no dip

If you’re lost and alone
Just pick up the phone
And call
J Lethbridge

He’ll use his IT skills
To direct up and down hills
Who ya gonna call
J Lethbridge

Be afraid not
He’ll pin point the spot
When you call

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