Now that I am equipped with spotting scope I feel the need to justify the expenditure and go out and about looking for exciting birds. But, fortunately I also have a greater urge to not bother going anywhere in the car. This led me to Daventry Country Park on a dull Saturday afternoon.
Was it exciting, did I see new and exciting birds? Well, that depends on your definition of new and exciting. This year I have decided to do a bird list. It seems that this is something that “serious” birders regularly do and some even describe themselves in terms of the numbers of species that they have seen. I have decided that I would just keep a list of those species that I see on my travels on my local patch (I rarely stray far from this patch unless it is a rare visit to the in-laws in Derbyshire). I am hoping for about 80 species.
Well, I am now past 50 thanks to the treecreeper and lesser redpoll that I saw at the CP. My spotting scope allowed me to see all the different shades of brown on the treecreeper, but then so did standing about 6 feet away from it at the bottom of the tree it was in. The scope did allow me to recognise the redpolls though as they were hiding at the very top of a tall tree. I would like to mention at this point though that I know that binoculars are better in a wooded area, but I was looking at the gulls on the reservoir when I decided to look behind me.
I watched an old episode of Birding with Bill Oddie and he pointed out that looking at a bird through a scope just put them in an entirely new light. I couldn’t agree more – I love my scope and now could not imagine life without one.
So, in addition to seeing thirty different bird species in one trip, watching a pair of grebes performing their courtship dance, I also managed to get a few OK shots of some of tamer wildfowl by the visitor centre. Not bad for a dull afternoon in February.