Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Seen and not heard, heard and not seen

The first email I opened upon arrival at work this morning was from Lodge librarian Ian Dawson. Ian thought that he had heard a snatch of Firecrest song in the gardens yesterday evening, but had not seen it or heard it subsequently. I spent 30 minutes listening this morning, but to no avail. Now, if Ian thinks that he has heard a Firecrest, there is a very, very good chance that it was a Firecrest.

I remain hopeful we can relocate it if it is still around.

To add insult to injury, on my walk in to work this morning, two short-tailed larks (not the ones you find in Goa) with rounded wings flew north over Sandy Ridge. I know what they were, you know what they were, but any description would prove inadequate.

These two examples highlight the importance of integrity in listing and birding. It would be quite easy for Ian to say that he had definitely heard a Firecrest and it would be even easier for me to pretend I had heard my birds call. Hopefully, our honesty will be rewarded and both species will fall this spring.

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