Promoting observation, free range exploration, sense of place and citizen science, through the field notes of a naturalist.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

A gentlemans guide to attracting birds: 1. Pishing

Field craft is very important, and one of the handy tools in the kit bag of every experienced birder is 'pishing'. Pishing is the art of making silly mimicking bird like noises to encourage little brown jobs to reveal themselves on the edge of thickets etc. I was first introduced to this technique when mist netting with the late Percy Playford at Llandegfedd Reservoir ages ago. At about the same time I remember an influential article on the very same subject by J.T.R Sharrock of British Birds fame. More recently a book entitled 'The Art of Pishing' has been published (see Amazon) by an American pisher with an accompanying audio CD - such a body of academic work, I'm on cloud nine! So today, and first checking I was out of ear shot of the massed ranks of fishermen, I had another crack at this most genteel of country pastimes and guess what it worked. The photograph below was taken after encouraging a female reed bunting out into the open, but note quizzical look of said bird. However, in the wake of a resurgence in this absorbing hobby, killjoys are driving it underground. 'No Pishing' signage is now widespread, strickly regulated by permit only from the ruling authority. Pishers everywhere organise and fight this injustice!

All joking aside it was nice to see a couple more birders at Llandegfedd Reservoir this morning. The recent dry spell has provided just the right amount of margin for passage waders with birds now starting to move through. Today, redshank, little ringed plover and common sandpiper provided the long legged entertainment, along with 120 Canada goose and upwards of 80 great crested grebe. On the butterfly front were, small tortoiseshell, peacock, large white, marbled white, small copper, small skipper, meadow brown, common blue and a second generation comma.

1 comment:

  1. Pishing only works on American birds. It is well-known. A guy did it here at the end of September, and when something obliged it proved to be a red-eyed vireo


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...