Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Waterfowl count

I was again walking on the same paths, or better said, off the beaten track as there are usually no paths or roads along the rivers where I count the waterfowl each year. This year it was raining and I have never been as angry before as last Saturday when two creeks leading into the river were so high at two places that I couldn’t cross them and had to walk around quite a distance. I had walking sticks with me because usually I can jump over both of the creeks with their help but this year they were just another burden to carry along with me. With umbrella in one hand I tried to spot the rare dippers with my binoculars in the other.
Most scary part of my path was along the tracks, and I decided to skip that part next year because it is just too dangerous to walk there. As I could see the train goes very close to the iron fence, and I would be scared to death if it really happened that it passed me at exactly that time when I was there. I had the train timetable but it was scary anyway. Long before I finished my count the umbrella’s handle broke and I was soaked to my skin (I wondered what kind of Gore-tex jacket that man in a shop had sold me). The only good thing about that day was that it was warm (it was around 5 degrees C).
The next day was far more pleasant although it rained heavily again. I decided to walk around those parts of the creek where I couldn’t get close because the banks were too overgrown with bushes and other plants. I know the creek already and I also know on which parts I am not able to see a bird. Anyway, birds run away before I come close as the bog trembles beneath my feet, although I walk very slowly. Therefore, good binoculars are essential for such count. One can see lots from far away but nothing when being close. It stopped raining about an hour later and I was glad that nobody was walking a dog because usually all birds run away when any dog with its owner is around.

Both my adventures happened for a good cause. Most probably I will be walking along the same banks next year again and it will be my tenth year counting the waterfowl then.

1 comment:

Feronia said...

Your bird work is great, Pina. I love birdwatching. And the countryside is so interesting - so different to what we have here.