Language Translator

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

That Pine Bunting!

Good numbers of Fieldfares arrived today

  In the last two days, I've had a few emails asking me if I'm going to tick the Pine Bunting? Well that's an easy answer. No, of course not. Although I know a few people who would of done.
  On the views I had, flying away from me, it could of been a number of species of bunting. However, listening to the call of Pine Bunting, over and over again, like I said before on my blog, it's spot on. When it flew off, instead of waiting for everyone, I should of just gone in and looked for it. But I didn't, because I wanted everyone to see it. By me walking up to where it had just landed, well I might of flushed it again. I know what to do next time, if there is a next time. Also, and quite rightly, the BBRC would not accept on what I observed, if anything at all. But that call of the bird, leaves me in no doubt that it was a Pine Bunting and one that got away.
  I guess it doesn't also help when the ISBG don't even put the sighting of the bunting on the sightings page on their website. That's how much confidents they've, or maybe someones, got in me.  I think it's kind of sad really, behaviour like that is petty and doesn't help the situtation at all. Anyway, I don't believe it's a question of confidence. It makes me feel like, if I find a good bird again, is it worth telling anyone?
  Do I need a sound recording, photograph, video or do I have to shot the subject to prove that I've seen it? Of the former, I would of had a sound recording of the bunting calling, if my bloody camcorder had not packed up a few days ago. If I had only heard the Great Reed Warbler at Lower Moors, on the day of the bunting, then would anyone believed me? After all, I had never heard a GR Warbler call before, not even a recording. Was it believed, because it was in the area already? What would happen if it had never been seen before and I was the only one to hear it call? Also, if I didn't get a recording of the 2 Night Heron that I heard at night over Porth Hellick this spring, then would anyone believed that? Would they put it on the Scilly bird sightings page? I don't know and I don't care.

  I found a Blyth's Reed Warbler in late October, a few years back. I only saw it briefly, but it was calling like a Blackcap. It stayed for 3 days and the some of the locals and a few birders that remained on the islands, saw it. However, as far as I know, none of them noted down the imarginations on the wing, but the bird showed well and was always located by it's call. And why didn't I get anything on it? Because I was working my ass off and had no time to go and look at it when it was on show. So what I'm trying to say here is that, you have an 'acro' warbler calling like a Blackcap, but because you didn't get the important features on the bird, then it will never be accepted. If you have experienced a Reed Warbler calling like a Blackcap for long periods of time, then can you please let me know? Then let the BBRC know about it as well. Of course the BBRC have got to be careful about records of Blyth's Reed, more so if the record comes from me, but if an 'acro' is calling like a 'sylvia' then what else can it be?
  It's been over 5 years now since I've sent any of my records off to the BBRC. This is because, as I discovered, certain people poach the birds off you that you have found. That's upsetting when that happens and I also know that it's happened to a few of my friends and they too, were not very happy about it. But like me, they let it go, because they just don't need the hassle and can't be bothered if they get their name on the bird or not. While other people do, although they didn't find the bird. That's pretty sad, don't you think? Especially when they know what they are doing or, maybe, their head is so far up their own ass that they don't know what they are doing! Perhaps their reputation is more important than the truth.

  What birdings all about, is having a good time and sharing it with other people. However, it seems to me that others feel that birds are more important than hurting peoples feelings. And this also links me onto bird forums. What's it all about slagging each other off? Most of the people that are in the slagging match about someones sighting, have never even seen the species. In some cases, maybe they don't even know what the species is. Am I slagging off now the very people that like to slag off others? I think it's a sad case when people have nothing else to do but to sit behind a computer and put other people down. Don't they ever think that the person that they are talking about, just might be reading everything that's going on the forum about them? Don't they think that they might be hurting their feelings? Or do they really care?
  Well, I have now come to that stage where I don't really care what people think or say, because I've tried to do everything I can to get it right and still people put you down and call you names. It's not a good feeling when it happens to your face and they just don't understand or they don't want to understand, because to them, birds are more important than hurting peoples feelings. By me putting my trust in certain people, that I thought were my friends, I've been shit on too many times and I'm going to make sure that it doesn't happen again. Many times I thought of giving up birding or just going it alone. What happened on the day of the bunting, has made me think that again. I feel that I would get a lot more enjoyment out of birding, if I went alone and then no one can slag me off behind my back or to my face.
  If you were in my position, then what would you do?

Also small flocks of Lapwing came in

  On the birding front, this morning it was overcast with a SE breeze. In the garden there were 9 Fieldfare and overhead, 35+Lapwing with 2 Skylark. This was shortly followed by 21 Lapwing and a few Redwing. I arrived at work and high up, over 250 Fieldfare flew from the east out to sea south-west. On the football pitch there were a few Fieldfare, 1 Golden Plover and 4 continental Song Thrush.

Over 100 Fieldfare were at Higher Moors

Only a few Skylark were seen

Male SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF singing at Porth Hellick

  More Fieldfare were at Higher Moors including a flock of 100+. Nearby at porth Hellick there was a singing SIBERIAN CHAFFCHAFF. At Green Farm there was a single Lesser Redpoll with a flock of 4-500 Chaffinch. Also small numbers of Fieldfares and Redwings. I only heard the YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER at Newford Duckpond.

2 Grey Heron can be seen daily at Newford Duck Pond

  Later in the afternoon at the airport there were over 300 Fieldfare, 2 Woodcock, 3 Swallow, 6 Golden Plover and the 32 Lapwing. Earlier on, Graham had 25 Golden Plover on the airfied. There was also an increase in Starling including 350+ on the airfield.

  This morning on St Agnes Graham also saw the RUDDY SHELDUCK, that he found yesterday at Porth Killier, the female GREEN-WINGED TEAL, Lapland Bunting, Jack Snipe and the ASIAN LESSER WHITETHROAT were also all still present.. While he was on St Mary's he got the SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF, NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH and WILSON'S SNIPE all at Lower Moors. Also seen at the latter site was the GREAT REED WARBLER.
  Nothing new in on the rareties front, but with these prolonged SE arriving over the next few days then it's looking.....
...Pretty good, not bad, I can't complain, but actually everythings just about the same - John Prine

Springsteen reckons that John Prine is one of the best American songwriters around and Kris Kristofferson discovered Prine in a bar and got him signed to a recording contract. They didn't have an upload of Prine singing  'Pretty Good' A great song and a very good cover by the Dawes.

Hey, I think I'll stick to the music. At least I have more postive comments on that subject...



  1. 'If you were in my position, then what would you do?'

    Hi Spider. Your post covers a lot of issues, but forgive me for summing it up as 'people' stuff. The glib answer to your question is 'don't allow it to wind you up.' Birders are a pretty screwy bunch, and bird-poaching, not believing a record unless they see it, bitching, handbags - that's no more than the usual insecurities coming out! I can think of one or two single-observer records involving highly respected birders which are, frankly, not really believed. It comes with the hobby. The level of scepticism in birding goes beyond 'healthy' and all the way to 'cynical'. Don't worry about it - it ain't personal, it's institutional!

    From another angle, it's the unenviable lot of records committees to make sure the avifauna of the country (or county) is as watertight as possible. The standards for acceptance NEED to be high. This means that good records will sometimes go in the bin, but probably better that than the other way round. Again, that's life.

    A final thought: you live on Scilly; you spend a lot of time outdoors; you get to see stacks of good, not 'good'...BRILLIANT birds, and many of them you find yourself!! Loads of birders would give their eye teeth for all that. Can I please leave the patronising punchline unsaid?

    Sorry, but you did ask...;o)

    Love your blog. Candid, honest, real. And some great music too. Keep at it. Cheers :o)

  2. Thanks Gavin - Your abosolutely right. It's happening everywhere, I guess, and fortunately it's only a minority.

  3. Spider...Spider....Spider....
    Now that's what I call a rant Kris...calm down, calm down, calm down laaaar...
    Just ignore them and carry on finding the birds, but as for the music...hmmm...I can still remember you making me listen to Kris Kristofferson in the car when we used to travel down to Scilly together before you moved...never forgiven you!
    Steve Young

  4. Ah, but Steve, you know you really liked it. You didn't exspect me to listen to Neil Diamond all the way down the M5, did you? It's enough listening to your singing!

    cheers mate

  5. Hi Spider

    You sound very wound up buddy.

    Do what I do, try to leave all the birding politics behind you. Its a fact of life that people will always talk behind your back, thats life.

    Birding is a great hobby & full of great people/ friends. Your fortunate to bird one of the very best sites in the UK, most people would love to bird the Scillies all year round.

    Just try to ignore the politics, although I appreciate this is difficult.

    Regards people claiming to have found other peoples finds to profit there own ego's is a contentious issue that I've experienced many times. Its frustrating, but what can be done to solve this, absolutely nothing I feel.

    I just believe in being honest to myself, people who know me & respect me know I make no claims lightly when finding a good bird.

    Birding is a truely fickle hobby & no doubt next time you find a good bird the very same people you have these doubts about will still come to twitch your find/s.

    Just do what I do, get out as often as possible, enjoy your birding & let others do/say what they like. You only live once, make the most of it, thats what I say.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Thanks mate, I really appreciate what your saying. However, it's not the name calling or what they say behind my back, and it doesn't have to always involve me to get me upset, but my friends. It's to do with their behaviour of poaching birds off myself and others, knowing they are going to get away with it. No one say's anything or does anything about it and therefore, they do get away with it. And if nothing is done, and if they can, then they will carry on, having no consideration what so ever for others. I'm not blaming the guys for not doing anything about it when one of their birds are poached by someone else. They're very upset, but just let it be, because, they have got more important things to do than asking questions. As well as many other things, that's one of the main subjects that really upsets me.