Friday, October 15, 2010

Bird karma part 2

So yesterday I mentioned storing up some good bird karma. Around the same time news broke of a Grey Pharalope on island which would be both an island and life tick for me. Irritatingly I couldn't get away on wednesday, thursday or friday until close of play friday when I decided to forgo post-work beers and charge off in search of the bird. Whereupon I got stuck behind not one but two learner drivers doing 5mph on public roads (I wish I were exagerating for comic effect but I promise you I'm not). Now we have narrow, winding roads so overtaking in such a scenario is difficult and all I could do was chug out to the site slowly as the sun drew ever nearer the horizon. Sure enough by the time I got there it was pretty dark and I was able to pick out a small bird surrounded by large birds (my knowledge of the site tells me they were curlew but I couldn't swear to it on the views). I was 95% sure I'd seen it but there was no way that was a tickable view and in any event, if you're going to "bird" like that then what is the point. You may as well sit at home watching Discovery Channel through some scrunched up cling-film (Ceram-wrap in Americano I believe?). So I was left to hope my robin-related karma was still good and the bird was still there when I did my regular saturday trip round the birding hotspots the next morning. So I was a pretty happy chap when I opened the hide window and immediately saw this:

grey pharalope

Seriously it was unbelievably easy, the bird stuck out like a sore thumb considering it was in a field full of other birds including black-headed gulls which I'd anticipated would be a source of potential confusion at least until I got on the bird.

grey pharalope2

It flew a couple of times, wandered about and ate a couple of crane-flies. It also posed conveniently next to a mallard to illustrate it's tininess. I left happy and the world was restored to karmic neutrality*

grey pharalope3

*For the avoidance of doubt, I don't believe in karma but I do thoroughly enjoy the happy coincidences and serendipitous circumstances which make the natural world such a fascinating place to be.

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