Tuesday, 9 June 2009

A Successful Twitch, Not

Black terns around the Midlands and two early morning reports from Bittell sent Dave and me there just after breakfast. The first problem was to clear the car’s glove compartment drawer out of his way: the catch has broken, which doesn't matter if I have no passenger. I hurriedly dismantled the whole thing and it now lies on my back seat, probably until I get passengers there, which could be many years.

On arrival we decided to check the lower reservoir first. I had my scope’s tripod at half mast because it’s easier to carry and fits in the car where the fully extended legs don't. But it is not as stable and certainly not stable enough for the slope on which I plonked it. Clunk, thud. I got semi-lucky with the optics themselves crashing into earth but the shock was fatal for the tripod head. It may have been weakening for a while.

Deep joy.

We dipped on the tern, even after trudging up to the top reservoir. Steve Payne -- for he, as we had guessed, had reported the bird -- hailed us on the way off the dam to say that it had showed only briefly.

Black ternWell, here's a picture of a black tern, just to cheer us all up.

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