Friday, 11 November 2011

Autumn's Nearly Done

And how do I know that autumn's nearly done with? Not because there is a reduced movement of birds on the patch - it's hard to tell that, even at the best of times, given the patch is nearly devoid of birds even then. But I can tell... and it lies in the amount of time I spend updating a certain website.

Which brings me to an encounter with a man many of us will be eternally grateful to (for finding the Irish Canada Warbler in 2006). I was plodding around Carrahane Strand, County Kerry and bumped into Maurice Hanafin - I've met him here on a couple of occasions on Irish jaunts and we got chatting. Anyways, to cut to the chase, he said he found out bird news these days by using the Netfugl twitter site. He then mentioned that it hadn't been updated for a couple of days with the British news... odd, considering that I'd been in Ireland for a couple of days with no computer access.
Burning the midnight oil... look at all those updates!
And then some people say that with Netfugl news, you get nothing and then all of a sudden a lot of messages come through. Yep, that's because either me or other updaters have been at work or out birding for the day... understandable of course.

This autumn's been really protracted and hard work too, starting with hurricane dumpage in the first ten days of September. Since then, I've tried to whack out each and every Semipalmated Sandpiper through to those dreaded harbingers of winter, Desert Wheatears. And during late September and early October, it took time - Netfugl doesn't just update itself. Even after slogging through those bloody ribeiras, Netfugl got updated each night before the Commodoro call of 'last one up close the lights' (perhaps the most famous saying by a non-birder in WP birding?).  The birds have tailed off now, and nobody's on Corvo for those Dickcissels anyway. The lights are off til next autumn out west for sure.

All I have to do for the next few months is recuperate, hibernate and whack out the odd Black Duck and Forster's Tern here and there...

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