3 December 2007

More local patch stuff and some Kathmandu memories

The Kingfisher was still around yesterday as was a lone juvenile Night Heron. I wish I'd had the 400mm lens to get these pics but it just isn't practical to drag around town. A bit of a pain to update the blog as google seems to have a bit of a bug meaning I have to fiddle about with html just so you can enlarge my photos (none of which are particularly exciting today anyway). Just the usual stuff around my flat so here's 2 pics of the same birds again.

Even if I'd had the 400mm lens it couldn't have hidden the garbage from the background. Not much else around, nothing new anyway. So here's another Teal.

So Liverpool doing ok. Interesting group of death in that footie thing next summer which I probably won't be watching much of. England screwing up after a promising start in Sri Lanka.

Around December 3rd down the years:

1983 (Dec 3) Walney. Wow, 24 years ago (and just after England had got knocked out of Euro 84, these things go in cycles). My first and until now only Lapland Bunting amongst the commoner winter stuff.

1987 (Dec 2 and 4th). St Marys near Whitley Bay. I didn't do much birding in my university days but these 2 days I went to the rocks by the lighthouse and saw 82 Purple Pandpiper, lots of other waders, Puffin, Guilemot, Red Throated Diver, Eider and Rock Pipit.

1994 (first week Dec) Cairns. I wound up in Cairns, North Queensland for a few days after working for 6 weeks up in Cooktown. Cairns seemed like a huge metropolis after Cooktown. The birding on the esplanade was spectacular. I wish I'd had my current camera with me. Lots of waders very very close. My logbook (written up months afterwards) indicates almost 30 species but I've purged some of them off my list. I can recall some quite clearly. My first Terek Sandpiper and Red Necked Stints,Pacific Golden Plover, Pied Oystercatcher, Turnston and probably a dozen others, perhaps Marsh Sandpiper, Great Knot, Sharp Tailed Sandpiper?. Add in Crested, Little and Gull Billed Tern, several species of Heron, Royal Spoonbill and thousands of screaming Rainbow Lorikeets. I did my only touristy thing in Australia:I went to the Great Barrier Reef and did some snorkelling. I'm not a good swimmer and I even went in the water using cut off jeans with a piece of old string as a belt. And I saw 'Pulp Fiction' in a cinema............and for a short time thought it was the best film I'd ever seen. Mind you I was stoned and had been stuck in the bondooks for a while.

1998 (first week Dec). I was in Kathmandu waiting to fly back to the UK. My long trip around the subcontinent was coming to an end and I was a little bit tired of Asia to be honest (I also had a nasty throat infection). Still, it was a nice end to the trip pottering around what is one of my favourite cities. i spent most afternoons on the roof top smoking hash and watching the Kites fly overhead. In the evenings flocks of Paddybirds and Cattle Egrets flapped across the horizon, I also saw Magpie Robin, Red Vented Bulbul and the other common urban birds of the area. In the mornings I explored the city and took lots of crappy pictures like these.

2002 (Dec 8) Yakumo and Sawara. Lots of Stellers and White Tailed Eagles but the main target of the day (a regular wintering Gyrfalcon) eluded us. It was supposed to be in a windwsept coastal area and a friend drove us there (we didn('t have a car at the time). It was bitterly cold and our friend got bored of waiting...I never did get to see it. The next winter it didn't return.

2006 (Dec 4) Kamiso. 3 White Fronted Goose.

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