20 April 2009

Missing out...

On a couple of occasions recently I’ve raised the question as to whether there is such a thing as too much information when it comes to birding. The past seven days have confirmed it for me... too much information is bad for your health! Well, my health at least!

The stress levels started to creep up on Tuesday morning when I received news that a Cetti’s Warbler had been located just a mile or so from my work place. This was only the 3rd ever record of the species in the county and I was stuck at work with no chance of getting away. As it turns out there are now 2 Chetti’s singing in the same location, and I’ve still not had chance to go and “tick them off”. Fingers crossed they’ll hang around another day or two.

On Wednesday things really started to go down hill. The messages from the local grapevine were coming in thick and fast - Kittiwake and also Arctic Tern had both been located at Willington Gravel Pits. Once again, I was stuck at work! Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat were also reported but at least they would hang around for a few months.

Thursday arrived and with it come enough text messages to raise my blood pressure to dangerous levels... Barnacle Goose, Whimbrel, Little Gull, Common Tern and yet more Arctic Tern were all seen at Willington at some point during the part of the day I was working. This was really turning into one of those weeks when I should not have been at work! By 6:15PM I’d managed to get away from work, cycle home, pick up my birding gear and drive to Willington. I arrived in time to see 8 Arctic Terns and also 2 House Martins, both new birds for the year, but I missed out on everything else.

On Friday it was the waders that showed up. Sanderling, Dunlin and another Whimbrel spent time at Willington whilst I spent time at work. The “10-Mile List” was really missing out and I was thinking of selling my binoculars and ‘scope or throwing my mobile phone in Alvaston Lake. No phone means no text messages, means no bird info and less stress!

On Sunday I finally managed a full morning of birding. I was out of bed at 5:45AM and at Willington Gravel Pits by 6:30AM hoping and praying for something to come along that would make up for everything I’d missed during the week. Well, I waited and waited and waited a little more. All I had to show for my efforts was one new bird for the year, Lesser Whitethroat. The only other birds of note on a very quiet morning were a single Arctic Tern and a Grasshopper Warbler that was heard a number of times but never seen. A brief stop off at Barrow on Trent proved to be equally quiet so I headed home in plenty of time for lunch. A huge plate full of roast pork and vegetables made me feel so much better.

So, bird wise it’s been a case of what might have been. I’ve missed out on 7 species I need for the year and have yet to find time to go after the Cetti’s. Tomorrow evening I may well try and rectify that.

Arctic Tern, House Martin and Lesser Whitethroat now take the count for my “10-Mile List” to 121 species.


  1. I wouldn't stress out over it. When you're old and retired you can go out and look for the birds you didn't get to see when you had to work. Provided the gravel pits are still around;-) you will have something to look forward to in your old age. By all means...throw away that phone. It seems to be taking the enjoyment out of birding.

  2. LOL! :-) I'm enjoying the birding very much... it's the birds I miss that I don't enjoy!

    It was just one of those weeks when everything turned to poo! It did get better though... I'll post another blog about that later.