Sunday, 5 September 2010

Stage 1 - Disastrous dip in Derbyshire for a Citrine wagtail

When I first met Jason stannage on a Red-backed shrike twitch at the old tip in Formby- Lancashire, I realised that my current birding just wasn't the same. So I took up twitching and let me tell you now; my life hasn't been the same since. Myself and Jason had never met each other that day and over the past few years I seem to have become twitching mad due to that particular twitch. Although I am 20 years younger than Jason, I don't seem to mind twitching with older folk because that has always been the case. I only have a few birding pals of my age, but far more twitching pals older than me.

These past few years I have twitched some pretty mind-blowing birds that I had never dreamt of seeing such as Brown shrike, Eastern Crowned Warbler, Oriental Pratincole and Glaucous-Winged Gull to name but a few. Thousands of miles sat in people's cars, train journeys totalling 12 hours to see 1 bird and the odd bus journey here and there. Twitching is a drug and there is nothing else on earth that I would rather do.. Whenever something turns up whether it be a local patch tick, a scarcity, rarity, mega or a 1st for Britain; I am always on the laptop planning the journey there. Twitching has brought my british list up considerably from 270 to 322 since I started a few years ago and I still don't drive. That's enough of a rant eh!

A decision was made to twitch, what would hopefully become my 323rd British bird.

On Tuesday 31st August I set off from Ormskirk at 5am, in search of a Juvenile Citrine wagtail at Ogston Reservoir in Derbyshire that had been present for the last 3 days, however it had bird elusive and distant the day before. Arriving at Alfreton station around 10am, it soon became apparent that the bird hadn't been reported all morning. News reached me that it had flown off high the night before. So basically I didn't even bother going to the reservoir, which was 8 miles away and hopped on the next train home and didn't speak to anyone else for the whole day! I wasn't too pissed off either as it wasn't that rare of a bird. There will be others is my motto and the next one will be on my list!

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