The Reluctant Twitcher

December 24, 2016

Slavonian Grebe


I don't consider myself a twitcher or birder really (their is a difference!) more of a general naturalist leaning towards the more scaley and slippery stuff. This being said I'm a sucker for a unusual bird, now not just any bird but something I deem interesting. Recently a slavonian grebe turned up about 10 minutes from my house and grebes being my favourite group of birds I went to have a look and found it relatively quickly with some good views.  




Species like Hawfinch and Waxwings are a personal favourite and I'm unashamedly attracted to the more colourful birds. I look out each winter for the arrival of waxwings which come over in huge flocks every few years with the last big one before 2016 was 2012 when I had them in my front garden!   




While not necessarily a rare bird dippers tend to inhabit small fast rivers and earn there name by dipping into the river and catching insects. In my native Nottinghamshire dippers are more or less non existent though luckily Derbyshire has plenty.  One of my aims was to film them underwater though didn't quite manage it this year.



Crested Tit 


Some twitchers will travel hundreds of miles for a view of a rare bird and it never ceases to amaze me that they'll often only spend a few minutes with them, ticking them off and leave. I saw this multiple times at Loch Garten a well known area for crested tits in the Cairngorms.




I'm a sucker for a duck, always found them interesting with eiders being the largest species in the UK, a sea duck mostly feeding on shellfish. Males often look better in the spring when they are trying to attract a mate and loose the more vibrant colours in the summer. 


 Ruddy Shelduck


I follow Notts Birders which is quite useful for bird reports locally and this chap turned up at the Trent Embakment. Its a ruddy shelduck which was presumably someones pet who has released a pair.  Now no self respecting birder would accept this on there lists but I'd never seen one before and wanted to check it out. I got some lovely shots and saw a new species even if it had been abandoned! 


I do find myself birding a little more then I used to, seeing a long earred owl yesterday and the years highlights being pied wagtail roost on my doorstep, goosander in the peaks and plenty of waxwings!




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