Settling down for an evening with my new edition Crossbill guide to Extremadura I was rudely distracted by a phone call from Andy. A thought occurred to me, during the split second that passed before I answered it, that this was it some fly by night had called in to the patch on my day off and scored the big one! I had commented to Jo the previous evening that they would be a Red-necked Phalarope at Orgreave tomorrow i.e. today, which was actually yesterday as I am writing this today! Anyhow I digress - which is posh talk for talking bollocks! Andy had kindly called to say that there was indeed a Red-necked Phalarope - but that it was at Middleton Moor about as far away in the 'Sheffield area' as it possibly could be! Anyway an hours drive later (yes it really is that far away) I was watching a cracking female Red-necked Phal' amazingly the first record in 'Sheffield' for thirty years, the previous bird being at the very same site!
Quite possibly the worst photo you'll ever see of such a stunning bird
It's always struck me that the 'Sheffield Area' is a bit of an oddity (at least when it comes to recording areas)with some very strange boundaries. It comprises 10 12km squares, 6 of which are in Derbyshire, 1.5 in Rotherham, a couple of bits in Barnsley and Doncaster with the remainder within the city boundaries of Sheffield! Odd I know, when you look at it, it looks as though a couple of blokes pulled out a map stuck drawing pins in their favourite sites then pulled an elastic band around them, thus creating the Sheffield area. The beauty of this method is that now and again when you need to you can pull the rubber band out just a bit further!