8 February 2013

Mipit behaving badly

For the last week or so I've had grief from a pipit. As I would pass through the boggy bit of the SSSI, the truly boggy bit, on the off chance of a Snipe or two, this small bird would fly out from the swamp and idly pitch down somewhere else.  No calls, no erratic flitting to gain height, just a fairly calm, methodical little flutter to somewhere out of sight.  After about the fourth time of asking I got a bit interested.  No white outer tail feathers, ruled out the immediate interesting possibilities and in my heart I knew it was a Mipit, but just maybe...

It also refused point blank to perch up, like the other Mipits passing through, and even eschewed their company, until today. I did get one brief view of it as it perched low behind a bush.  Mipit. But I had to be sure, what if it were one of the Buffs from west London? Then what would we do?

I even dragged Tim out early this morning to help add some greater experience to the proceedings, only for it not to show in the time he had to give me.  As soon as he gone off to check Cat & Dog of course it showed, along with 7 other pipits.  Again no call, and when they all piled off it stayed behind.  Finally after standing ankle deep in the mire and regretting having leaky books, it wandered over a tussock and gave me a chance to nail it with some bad pictures. Mipit.  A bloody Mipit, and after all the effort...

But then you see nothing much is happening down on the patch at the moment, it's limbo time.  Not quiet cold enough for anything really interesting happening and far too early for some migrant action. It's got so bad we've resorted to tweeting Coot. My own fault really, I started it with a text regarding a pair that had appeared on Angel Pond. In my defence I only did this because the last pair to try this vestigial pond made a very bad mistake. The pond was already shrinking rapidly when the pair opted to have young. A disaster waiting to happen, which it eventually did as the last water evaporated as did their young. Coots aren't the sharpest tools in the box when it comes to parenting and location choice, but with overcrowding on Alex, where's as young Coot couple to go?

At least the pond will hold water for longer this year, and they might even get a brood off, but with little cover I rate their chances at an optimistic zero.

One of two Coot showing rather well on Angel... zzzzzzzzzzzz

"That isn't exciting", remarked Mr L
"Nothing much here either", added Mr F.
"First for 2 years!", I said defending my position
"Sorry, my mistake.  That's amazing. Forgive me if I don't twitch them..." replied Mr L

and so it began...

"Coot still Angel.  You could twitch it in a coffee break tomorrow"

"Yeagh, sign me up for the Coot!"

"Coot on the Basin.  First since yesterday"

"Pr of Coot showing down to a few metres on Angel"

Can't wait for the Wheatear.

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