Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Its up to the BBRC now

Late on Saturday while we were sat musing in the hide at Aqualate, news started filtering through about a BAIKAL TEAL at Crossens Outer Marsh near Southport in Lancashire. It was finally relocated at midday on Sunday but with a hectic work schedule at the beginning of the week, I wasn't able to realistically make a visit until Wednesday afternoon. Everything went to plan on Wednesday and I was on the road for 12:30hrs. I woke up the St Helen's kid and picked him up and headed towards his old stomping ground. As we headed off the motorway, all I kept hearing was "that's the first tree I climbed" and "I've ate a meal in that pub" and "that's where I saw my first German bomber" and "that's where I saw The Rocket steam train".

We had received no updated information on the BAIKAL TEAL since the last message at 10:00hrs, but as we were on the outskirts, we finally received confirmation that it was still present. We were worried that we would have to find it ourselves. We parked up by the pumping station and spoke to the first birder we met walking back to his car. He told us it had flown from the road side area where everyone was standing and it would be best to follow the embankment path. We soon found a small group of birdwatchers, but they hadn't found the BAIKAL TEAL again. We tried scanning through the endless flocks of Wigeon, but by now it was quite windy, and getting very cold. It was the sort of wind that blew  your scope over. I also realised there were only Wigeon here and no Teal. We started walking further along the path and found quite a few Teal actually in the channel, most of which was hidden from view. It wasn't looking good.

We wandered away from the crowd, but we had lost contact with the larger group. We decided to rejoin them. But they were all standing still scanning the same Wigeon flocks. This time, we decided that CJW would stay behind, and I would wander along the path. We'd found a large group of Teal further up and I felt this was our final hope. I walked down and several other birders followed me this time.

Eventually, a birder from this forward group found the sleeping drake Baikal Teal roosting on the banks of the channel. They shouted to me as I was slightly in front of them. I rang CJW and soon the whole group was on the bird. We were all quite relieved to finally see the thing.

And so now we wait for BBRC to accept it or not. Its my preference to have a clean BOU list with everything accepted and above board. That's my decision and I'm sticking to it. No dodgy unaccepted birds on my list!

February 2014 Postscript - Baikal Teal accepted!

Ok, so its request time again for this weeks video to end the blog slot. This week, I had a nice email from Martyn who lives on a high hill in Birmingham. He writes " Hi, love your end of the blog video slot. Some excellent classic tunes. Being up here on my high hill, I get very lonely as I don't see anyone and there are no birds up here to look at. I often sing this song at the top of my voice and do the dance. It makes me feel so much happier". Well Martyn from a high hill in Birmingham, here's your favourite tune!