Wednesday, 17 August 2011

County tick, Garden tick and boyish wonder

A nice triple pronged post here today ;

County tickage - I dragged Amy out for a walk on monday afternoon with the intention of finding and exploring the Charnwood lodge/Timberwood hills area as i'd never got round to going there before. But, as had happened before, I got confused and ended up walking a completely different area.....well the info board claimed it was still Charnwood lodge but it was a different area to where I'd aimed for - this was the area opposite the Forest Rock pub (which incidently has been renovated since I last went and is now rather swish, hooded birders hoodie received critical stares) in Whitwick. Nevertheless Hooded birder and his intrepid partner went for a jolly around this bit anyway as my Grandparents often used to take me and my sister up here for a walk with Pudding the dog. The walk was very nice and nostalgic but was completely devoid of birdlife. In the two hours(ish) that I was there only Woodpigeon, Magpie, Crow, Swallow and Nuthatch (heard only!) found its way into my notebook for the day. So how on earth did I manage to bag a county tick?? It wasn't a bird that why, it was a beautiful Common Lizard that stormed its way onto my Leicestershire reptile list, sitting proudly alongside Grass snake and a dead Adder I saw once.

Garden tickage - This record was pleasing for three reasons. 1) It was a bird this time. 2) Having lived in this house since I was 4 years old garden ticks don't happen very often. 3) I managed to take a photo of it this time. Ok using the word photo is stretching the definition of this word to the very limit but I couldn't care less! It was a documented garden tick which was the main thing as the old bag can be dismissive of garden tickage, I know to this day she doesn't believe my flyover Raven claim!
Anyway back to the bird, it was a Whitethroat (juvenile) and it was bloody brilliant! Hooded birder was sat in the garden smoking narcotics and reading Harry Potter and the order of the Phoenix when he became aware of a little brown chap flitting about in the garden rare bush. The garden rare bush does exactly what it says on the tin - if it's garden rare, it'll be in the garden rare bush. I'll have to get back to you on the species of bush buts its a good bush. Has yellow flowers on it sometimes. Anyway, said bird was flitting around in the garden rare bush and was decent enough to not fly off whilst I made risky amounts of disturbance trying to get inside to get the bins. And so, juvenile Whitethroat in the bag. Here it is;

No apolgies for the shit image here, this was 21 years in the making!
On reflection I should have seen it coming having read recently about this being a Whitethroat year and this being the time of year where juvenile warblers turn up in gardens but predictably I didn't. Still, shouldnt complain, only the second warbler (after several blackcap records over the years) on the garden list. Should post that soon.

Boyish wonder - I was cocking about on the blogger page, figuring out what everything did and whatnot when I discovered the stats page. Everybody likes a good stat. Especially birders with the tremendous amount of lists we each compile yearly. So you can imagine how the stats page was received. And this is where the boyish wonder comes in. This blog is still in its infancy (1 month and 5 days to be precise) but during that time 4 Americans, 2 Germans, 1 Dane and an Indonesian have had the misfortune pleasure of reading this blog. Hooded birder is international now, oh yes.


  1. I trust you don't count the dead Adder on your Leicestershire reptile list! Ketton Quarry is the place to go if you want to see a live one.

    The bit of Charnwood Lodge you went to is Warren Hills - the entrance to the main part of the reserve is down the road towards Mount St Bernard's Abbey.

    And your bush looks like some sort of Broom.

  2. I can remove it now there is two live reptiles on my list. Grass snake just looked lonely before that! And yes i've heard all the red hot reptile action occurs at Ketton, shall have to try and drag myself up there before it gets too cold. Too bad its ****ing miles away!

    Yes i've discovered where I went wrong now, I just sailed on past the lay by where I should have parked! Thanks to my incompetence I saw the lizard so it was a stroke of genius really.

    Bang on! The garden rare bush has been identified as Common Broom. Ten points.