Sunday, July 09, 2006

A birthday wish? You bet!

Holme Engine Drain by Carry Akroyd July 06

Well, well, well. What has happened to the Essex Pine Grozzer? Not only did the piccy on Surfbirds do a runner, but having been claimed to be still there yesterday morning at 5.30am (and singing!), arrangements made for parking (at a nice fiver per car), it did a bunk! Not a peep out of it since. I just wonder how many paid their fiver and went home very unhappy.

For the short period the photo was available (short, but still longer than the bird was supposedly available!), am I the only one thinking the photo looked a little odd? I find any bird photo with flash or other artificial light as slightly odd, nay, even suspicious. I’m sure the conspiracy theorists will be working overtime, as I’m sure this ain’t the last we have heard of the Chingford Onger 1.

So Pine Grozzer wasn’t to be. What about the Red-necked Grebe at nearby Deeping Lakes? Overnight suggestion from Martin ‘ID Guru’ Garner was that it ‘may’ be a the Nearctic/East Siberias race holboellii. Wow! With only one previous British record (Wester Ross, 1925) that’s nearly as good as a first for Britain less than 20 minutes drive away! We’ll it would have been if 1) it definitely is one, as without catching the little bugger I suspect there is no way of knowing, and 2) after 20 minutes of driving and a couple of hours of searching, the bird was definitely not on view. Probably sheltered from the strong winds behind the island I stared at for two hours!

Ah well - birthday weekends are made memorable not just by birds, but by those nearest to you, and Liz's surprise of a painting from one of my fave artists, Carry Akroyd, titled 'Holme Engine Drain' featuring the recently ereceted Glassmoorbank wind turbines made my day!

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