Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Holiday yarn 4 - WHITE-TAILED PTARMIGAN (at last!!!)

August 2nd
                 While I have chance (more later) I'm posting a double. So, the fabled WTP finally fell. As most people reading this Blog will be committed Birders you'll be able to share the feeling of finally connecting with a "difficult" target bird! I'd tried 3 times in Alaska (walking several miles) and twice on Mount Evans earlier this trip. I'd also had a thorough search in Rocky Mountains N.P. on Trail Ridge road the previous afternoon evening. We were leaving for South Dakota so this was my final attempt. I made it up to Medicine Bow Curve for dawn and it was a bit fresh to say the least, but more importantly it was fine and quiet!

I started down the excellent trail. I'd probably gone 300 yards or so when I decided to have a scan. Still nothing. This was my prime location in my opinion taking account of all the information I'd gathered. So...out came the tape. I'm not an advocate of this technique but I feel on occasions it's justified i.e. when you've had enough of looking and times running out!! No, seriously, breeding season over, not that many birders and brief use. Also many American birders use them...judiciously.

So I turned my ancient cassette recorder on and gave it a go. Still nothing. Try again...

Bird or Stone?
You can appreciate why scanning for this bird is so difficult! I had 4 birds literally walking around my feet totally oblivious of my presence. So, success at last...very satisfying. Chasing this bird was beginning to get to me...

Local stuff
I see there's been a breach at Spurn

Out down Duff tomorrow. Here's hoping for a sensational Autumn...

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