Blog

Tue 18th October 2011

Posted on October 19, 2011 at 4:25 PM

I was patrolling the school field today at lunchtime, breaking up the odd "pile-on" or teenage slanging match, when I received a call from Jamie H. He tells me that he's just seen a pipit feeding in a garden by the Grand Pre that he first thought was a Tree but now thinks it may be an Olive-backed!! This was massive news. Not only would it be a new species for the Guernsey List, but it would be a total lifer for me, never having seen one anywhere in the world!

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He had a few poor pics of the bird and he emailed them to me. So rushing the pupils out the door at 3 o'clock, I grabbed "Nils" out of the car and opened up the pics. They looked pretty good to me and I suggested he grapevined it as a probable OBP. I packed up quickly, waited for the car park to clear, then sped off towards Grand Pre, about 20 minutes away.

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When I arrived, Jamie was there with a few others but the bird had not been seen again since lunchtime. It had to be still there, but these gardens were well-vegetated and stretched out quite a way where you couldn't get to. Half-an-hour later we still were striking out and I was getting worried since I had to be talking to Abigail's teacher at 5 o'clock. Luckily, Jamie decided to walk into the original garden as he was going to ask the owners of the house if we could look around for it. And as he did so, it suddenly appeared on the grass next to the shed. There was no-one at home so we all piled into the garden and after a couple of disappearings, it eventually fed out in the open on the grass, and I was able to study it through the scope. We checked all the features and there was nothing against it being OBP - superb! Too far away and too dark for any decent photos, but I didn't care. My first new 'life' species since Jan 2010 and it was worth the wait.

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Olive-backed Pipit - Grand Pre, 18 Oct 2011

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Categories: Other Rarities, 2011 Autumn