After many years of enjoying seeing birds wherever and whenever, I have become afflicted by a growing concern about lists. Previously it did not bother me at all that I had seen neither Temminck's Stint nor Quail in Scotland, never mind Lothian, since I had seen (or, in the case of Quail, heard) them on the continent and elsewhere in the UK. For me, the excitement in birding was always in the seeking, rather than in rows of ticks or within an inventory of long-gone birds listed within geographical or political boundaries. But something has changed, and I find myself increasingly irritated by the fact that after over 15 years in Scotland there are some pretty common species that I have yet to connect with within its boundaries. Whatever, something made me check my email just after lighting yesterday's barbecue, and sure enough Dave A had found yet another good bird - this time a Temminck's Stint at Musselburgh lagoons.
By this time, the evening was well advanced, and since the weather was so still and warm it seemed an ideal opportunity to take up my self-set challenge of finding a Quail.
As it turned out it didn't take long, a couple of stops along lanes threading their way between agricultural fields in the Fenton Barns area of East Lothian produced three singing Quail. Once more the Remembird was out, this time recording. Here is last night's closest bird with the soundfile popped into Ravenlite to produce a sonogram - not particularly clear, but 4x 'wet-my-lips' clearly visible in this clip - a directional microphone, parabolic reflector and wind shield would all help methinks! Now, that was the second Scottish tick of the evening, and the second of which to be identified on call - any quandry here? Not in the least - everyone adds Quail to their lists on call alone, don't they?