Saturday, 22 October 2011

Scarlet Tangerine Dreams

There is not enough swear-words, cultural dialects or youthful slang that can even begin to describe today’s experience. These two words begin to try: SCARLET TANAGER.

'Down and right of the Rabbit corpse!'

Bottom right. Scroll down for the better ones.

Today begun fairly normally as we got up had a bird of the land, clocking that the Yellow-browed Warbler was once again in it’s tree while Carreg Dhu held another Yellow-browed, 2 Firecrest and several Chiffchaff. It all seemed fairly routine, good, but routine. Then my dad had Olive-backed Pipit over the garden and Skylarks started moving…hmm. Then it happened.

After just finding the above male Red-veined Darter in it’s usual spot the radio flared up – clear as day ‘Scarlet, Scarlet Tanager..oh god where am I’!! Fuck! I ran across the garden screaming but my dad was already at the car waiting. It transpire the bird was about 200yds from me before I ran the wrong way but it doesn’t matter as we arrived on site and got flights views instantly. The bird didn’t seem settled and was moving hedge to hedge. But luck was on our side once again and this stonking, mid-blowingly beautiful bird was re-found along the lane, where we had bins filling views for a couple of minutes allowing me to spend 10 seconds taking a record shot then getting back to soaking it in:

Being proper rare and hard to get. But how good is that!!!!

For the next hour I (and most present) enjoyed far more distant yet more prolonged views as it worked the sunny hedge edges. Scilly hits once again. So glad I didn’t crack and pay £70 for the privilege of dipping yesterday, I was very tempted. And those views, oh those initial views, it’s engrained onto my retinas forever with the crappy record shot taken 100yds from my back garden will forever remind me of this fantastic experience!

The rest of today has been spent in a state of total disbelief. The initial adrenalin hit (and associated shakes) subsided and the Longstone recording area was hit repeatedly with the hope of relocating the Tanager – but alas no luck. However a marked increase of Blackcaps (to 6) plus 2 White Wagtail, 1 Chiffchaff and 2 Raven along with the ever lingering Yellow-browed Warbler finished off a perfect day perfectly.

The Yellow-browed Warbler and his or hers home for the past 2 days.

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