The first rule of Twite Club is you do not talk about Twite Club
The second rule of Twite Club is you do not talk about Twite Club (but blogging about it is fine)
The third rule of Twite Club is you do not mistake Linnets for Twites…
As I was in Norfolk and am a forgiving sort, I decided to give RSPB Titchwell Marsh the opportunity to make up for the filthy weather it inflicted on me on my last visit. If you recall, my previous visit caused me to swear out loud, a lot, at the weather and wet my pants (no, not in that way!)…
From out of the window of the north-facing Parrinder Hide, there was a small flock of about twenty or so little brown birds flitting around in the vegetation. It was quite tricky to make out what they might be as the light was beginning to fade and they were doing the bird equivalent of scampering amongst the plant life, but to me, they looked like Linnets.
However, there was a chap sat next to me with his wife (or partner or lady friend or sister or random female person that he happened to be talking to) who was looking at the same birds, but he seemingly had come to the conclusion that they were Twites.
This confused me a bit… Was I mistaken? Quite possibly. Was he mistaken? Also, quite possibly. I hadn’t seen any Twites this year (or indeed ever), so I was hoping he was right and I was wrong.
It felt a bit odd to want to be wrong. Is it wrong to want to be wrong?
I subtly checked my phone-based bird app to see if I could confirm who was right with their identification. There are a few slight differences between these two types of closely-related finches (beak colour and size, depth of fork in the tail feather etc.), but I couldn’t see enough in the birds in front of me to persuade me that they were anything other than Linnets.
At the same time, I was continuing to eavesdrop on my binocular-wielding neighbour and he affirmed that they were Twites a further couple of times. I silently disagreed with him in my head (twice) and he left the hide, blissfully unaware that his bird ID had been telepathically challenged.
One day I’ll encounter someone with extrasensory perception and they’ll give me a good mind slap for being so cheeky!
One day, I’ll see a Twite.
It’s been a while, but I proudly introduce a (likely to be one-off) new section to this blog. With a big nod to the Fauna Corner from times gone by, ladies and gentlemen, I give you Former Corner – an homage to a weekend of seeing more dead things than new bird species: –