I spent an entire morning at Long Valley and came away empty handed. I saw some decent enough birds but nothing that wanted to be photographed. The light was not good and I spent almost two hours crouched under a tree hiding from a bird that seemed to thumb its nose at me. “I can see you!” it might have cried. It stayed always just out of the line of sight. Decent enough views with binoculars but frustrating with the lens.
An Eastern Buzzard perched nicely on the obligatory LV wire but not good enough to make the BAD cut. I added a couple of decent documentary shots to my Stejneger’s Stonechat collection. On is a shot of the bird feeding – but a very ugly environment. Not worthy.
So can I find anything photographed today to keep my audience happy? Well Steve Gingold, the wise and insightful guru from a state in the USA that I can’t spell, pointed out sagaciously that I was going to post a bird and not necessarily photograph a bird a day – the archives can be plundered when needed. What a fine chap Mr. G is.
However I decided that I would not sink so low on day 7. Gosh, a week has gone by already. So today it is comedy time. Just after 8.30am I heard what I would describe as a very loud, flutey and perhaps even fruity call. Somewhat bemused I looked around and suddenly spotted this chap:
Probosciger aterrimus or the Palm Cockatoo. Somewhat adrift from its natural homing grounds of New Guinea and the Cape York peninsula. I shall probably offend some people (not difficult) by saying it reminds me of an Italian army officer. Is it not they who have or had the plumed helmets? Or perhaps it was the French. Ooooh la la!! A pantomime bird if ever I saw one. Not to be taken seriously. A close peek will reveal of course the ring around the ankle. However this clown has slipped its chains and flown the barracks. It grows to 65cm and can weigh up to 1kg. Not really one to be argued with. Fancy being nipped by that bill? At least it has the decency to blush at its own dandified appearance. Haircuts like that went out with the 1980s. A sort of David Bowie mullet but without the chic androgyny of Ziggy Stardust. Closer I fear to one of the spiders from Mars.
And there I shall leave it for today. My first and hopefully last encounter with the flying mullet, whether French, Italian or Martian.