Thursday 17 June 2010

Plastic or fantastic? - Blue Winged Teal (Cambs)

Home early from work today I headed up to Cambs for the smart drake Blue Winged Teal at Berry Fen. Yesterday it was discovered that the bird is ringed, prompting much speculation about its origin, but needing BWT for a life tick after dipping a female, again in Cambs, just a few weeks ago on the way home from Merseyside for the White Tailed Plover, I decided being just over an hour away it was worth going to see.

This is where I must apologise for the lack of photos on this post. I must admit I made a basic school boy error on my behalf. If you know me, you probably know that I have recently purchased my first SLR camera (Canon 30D with 300mm lens), well this was to be its first trip out and the BWT was to be its first subject. Not knowing what I was doing I gathered my bins, scope, ruck sack full of camera equipment and small dogital camera, and headed off to find the site/bird. Ten minutes later unable to work out which of the few metal gates to go through I huffed and puffed my way back to the car and decided to leave the scope and try again. This time I was lucky, I found another confused birder, and between us we managed to work out where we should be heading. Ten minutes later we found the site and a couple of other birders, neither of whom had found the BWT.

At this point I realised the lack of scope was going to be a major hinderance in locating the bird, but my luck was in as it was located around 150+ yards in front of us, associating with two European Teal. I must admit it was very smart and I am glad I went for it, too far to try my new toy out and with the scope in the boot, not even an attempt at a digiscoped pic possible. Who knows if the record will be accepted? We'll just have to wait and see, but until it is scubbed I'll assume (as is right in all civilised societies) that it is innocent (wild) until proven guilty (escape). Life tick 372)

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