6th September. Another Promising Day

Keeping an eye on the weather through the week suggested that Saturday could be good and Friday would be wet, very wet.

Arctic Tern in the murk
Setting out at dawn it was disappointingly dry, though there had been some rain during the night, but there was a light northeasterly wind and it certainly felt promising, almost as good as skua day (I really need to move on from that). Arriving at the patch I first checked the small lake, surely there would be some waders around the edge - there wasn't. Plenty of gulls on the larger lake, including an adult Yellow-legged and a group of terns, an adult and 3 juvenile Arctics, surely a good sign.

I did two laps of the lakes and as the rain by now seemed set in and the birds just weren't happening I threw the towel in and headed for work.  This was one of my fortnightly Fridays off and I needed to build some time up so at the time it made sense to work - didn't it?
Well no it didn't. Throughout the morning there were messages of inland skuas in Derbyshire and West Yorkshire and clearly I had made the wrong choice.

I left work at 3 getting to Orgreave just after 3:30 where immediately it was clear that birds had arrived. More ducks, 4 Curlew a couple of Snipe and lots of Meadow Pipits. A juv' Arctic Tern and better still a juv Little Gull on the western edge, clearly birds out of the North Sea. Ten Snipe heading high north, a juv Wheatear, 2 Whinchats and a circling Ruff added to the magic of this 60 miles inland 'fall'. But all this left a bitter taste in my mouth - what had I missed? What if I hadn't gone to work and stuck it out in the rain? I'll never know and as seemingly no other local birders were out I didn't suffer being gripped off.

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