23rd March. On The Buses

Well half way through the first week of birding by bus and things are going fairly well. Total of 9 visits since Saturday, five of which have been done by bus, breaking up the journey too and from work nicely.
This Black-necked Grebe was the product of this mornings commute

Whilst these Whoopers provided the return trips entertainment

22nd March. The Fellowship of The String

Apologies to Martin for stealing (there's no other word for it) this photo off his blog, but I couldn't help but chuckle at how the current BBRC line up have a striking resemblance to those fellows in the Lord Of The Rings.

Note how the Hobbits are flanked by their protectors including Aragorn front right and the mighty Tree Beard back left. Frodo appears to have developed a liking for the Shire ale.

Good luck lads protecting the 'precious' British list from the Eye of Little Chalfont.

I doubt I'll ever get a single record accepted again!

20th March. Time for a change

Catching up on some much needed sleep I missed the morning session at Orgreave. An evening visit gave me my first Sand Martin of the year.

Sunday was better with a couple of Little Ringed Plovers and 31 Whooper Swans 'honking' their way north harboring the end of winter hopefully. A party of five Greenfinches was surprisingly a site (shite) year tick - though they're not the common bird they used to be in these parts.

Less welcome was a Mink dancing its way along the river bank, flushing several Teal as it went.

A nice hat and a pair of gloves with teeth like razor blades.

With spiralling fuel prices and far too many garage bills in the last twelve months I've finally made the decision to ditch one of the cars. As Jo needs a car for work it's left to me to get the bus. Fortunately Orgreave is served by several buses so hopefully I will still keep up the regular visits. On the downside those tempting mid-week 'rares' might prove tricky! "Bus Wanker"

17th March. Reflections

With the whole World appearing to be on it's way into Hell on a handcart it seemed that writing anything on these pages over the last week would have seemed meaningless and even more insignificant than normal! So I didn't bother. A few birds on Orgreave over the weekend most notably (though not surprising) was the first Little Ringed Plover.

Up to 72 Goosanders most evenings, delighting with their soft display calls.

The worse things that happened to me last weekend was the lack of broadband and a broken clutch. All seemed fairly serious, in our house, at the time. But on reflection and with the current situation in Japan, they were about as serious as a broken finger nail!

6th March. Dude

Change of scenery this morning with a trip to Clumber - mainly for the Hawinches - but a full scale dude session ensued.

Cracking scope views, though had to make do with this heavily cropped DSLR shot

Returning to the car I scattered a few crumbs on the fence and came over all Mary Poppins.

5th March. Turned Out Nice Again

Another familiar scenario today. Shitty weather and not a deal of bird life. At Orgreave the viewing post was already occupied by, an out of bed earlier than me, Pete. Consequently I decided to check the almost steppe like northern end, where the highlight was a nice party of seven Hares, taking advantage of a seemingly dog free morning - running around naturally with out the assistance of some ignorant arse wipes mangy hound.

The grey murk had now turned into clag, but without the vital northeast wind and with other things to do I packed in.

With several hours of constant heavy drizzle I became concerned that I might be missing summat (that's Northern for something). Logging on to the SBSG site my thoughts were confirmed with 26 Whooper Swans at Orgreave - bugger. Fortunately when I went back for the evening gull roost they were still there.

My fifth gull roost visit of the week finally came up trumps with an adult Mediterranean Gull, for ten minutes, before all Hell broke loose among the gulls (presumably a Peregrine) forcing most o leave and the rest to circle the lake until it was too dark to see them.