October 13th   Leave a comment

Birding has many joys but also has a dark side. I am passionate about my Crail list and nothing gives me more pleasure that seeing, or even better, finding a rare bird on my local patch. This means though that I run the risk being disappointed if I miss something. I knew that heading down to England for a meeting tomorrow was likely to cause trouble after the easterly winds of the last couple of days but I was reassured by it being fairly quiet yesterday (just a merlin and some bramblings). As I left Crail for the station I saw a group of bird watchers heading into Denburn and mentally wished them luck, but not too hard. An hour or so later as I headed south away from Edinburgh I got a text – a red-flanked bluetail found in Denburn (last one 11 years ago…) and then another hour later another – a Pallas’s warbler also in Denburn (last one about 6 years ago). So here I am moving further and further away from that special patch of woodland just 300 meters from where I usually write Wild Crail. I will come back as soon as I can tomorrow, but won’t be back in Crail until late Monday evening. I will be in Denburn at first light on Tuesday praying that these birds are 3 day birds (not a forlorn hope at this time of year and with dull and rainy weather forecast). I have seen both of these species before in Crail but still the timing makes me wonder which god of bird watching I have offended.

What I am describing here is the frustration of being a twitcher. Keeping a list and not wanting to miss a bird that you can add to your list. I gave up serious twitching many years ago when I found out that disappointment at missing a bird could simply be avoided by not trying to go and see it. Birding is too much fun to ever allow yourself to be disappointed. Better to go out in hope all the time and just enjoy whatever you find yourself. But now I have my Crail list the potential disappointments are back and right now in a huge way.

There will be a lot of birders descending on Crail again. They will find more rare birds I am sure. The weather conditions remain good for more migrants to arrive. Roll on Tuesday. Those of you reading this that saw the bluetail today…I have posted John’s photo below …and those of you that didn’t can look at the photo and wish like me that they had. But it’s in Denburn right now by the wooden bridge (and all the birders) so go and have a look yourself.

Red-flanked Bluetail

Red-flanked Bluetail in Denburn today – a brilliant bird. Wish I wasn’t in England until Tuesday.

Posted October 13, 2013 by wildcrail in Sightings

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