Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Crrr crrr, zzze zzze, ack ack...

Ah, the sweet, sweet sound of Great Reed Warbler song...

After work this evening, I did a bit of twitching. It wasn't too far away, so I went to see the Great Reed at Willington gravel pits near Bedford. I heard it before I saw it. It's been a couple of years since I last heard one, but it definitely brought to mind a faulty dot-matrix printer.

Conditions weren't really ideal, being quite breezy and distinctly cold, but eventually it climbed up a swaying reed stem and sat out in the open to sing.

We [a small gathering of twitchers] were viewing from across the other side of the reed-fringed pit where the Great Reed had taken up residence, but after a bit of singing, it flew across to our side (and out of view). Lars Jonsson was about right when he said they were the "size of a small thrush!" Our 'normal' Reed Warbler measures about 13cm from bill to tail, but Great Reed Warbler is more like 19cm. What a whopper!

Steve Blain has a photo of this bird on Birdguides.com

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On another note, I've had (at the last count) 165 hits on my blog today (including one from the United States House of Representatives!) and three comments this evening! Welcome to you all. That's almost three times the total of yesterday's hits, and there are still 40 minutes to go.

Will somebody please tell me what's going on?

Wait a moment...

Ah... the source is the Blogger homepage! That's pretty cool... I'm shocked!