If there's anyone still out there, and after a four month absence why would there be, then hello I'm still here.
Blogging hasn't come easily this year, and eight hours a day sat in front of a computer kinda makes you start to hate the thing by the end of the day. Combined with the early (pre-work) starts on the patch I really am too knackered by the evening and like most zombies of the 21st Century I watch shit TV and look at videos of cats on the Internet.
After a very quiet start to the year with only a couple of noteworthy birds namely
two Iceland Gulls, one of which was probably something rarer, but I have to let that one go..
|The mantle and upperwing really were this dark!|
Despite the promise of an early Spring, with the first Wheatear on the 20th March things soon went belly up with migration almost grinding to a halt until the third week of April.
|Almost daily Whimbrel.|
|A better than average Spring for Arctic Terns|
Then came May..
May always arrives with great anticipation, but more often than not it ends with a great deal of frustration.
The 3rd was one of those typically frustrating days, warm sunshine light south-west wind and very little movement. After a lap of the two lakes I decided that a circuit of the site, taking in the hawthorn hedgerows and young trees would prove more fruitful. A couple of Lesser Whitethroats singing in the southwest corner were a good addition - and at the time of writing still the only ones this year - and a Cuckoo (the first since 2012) almost deserved a little dance. Other than the aforementioned it was generally very quiet though.
Trawling through my Twitter notifications I scowled enviously at a report of a Glossy Ibis at Carr Vale and carried on round the perimeter stopping to scan over the seemingly birdless lakes. A quick look at Twitter again revealed that the Ibis had flown north from Carr Vale. Hmm. I stood on the causeway between the two lakes scanning the skyline all around me. I could see distant Swifts and Skylarks and mused to myself that even I could pick up a distant Ibis - though in all likelihood it would be miles up by now. As I turned from looking over the near woods at Treeton I was immediately faced with the site of a Glossy Ibis slowly dropping out of the sky towards the largest lake.
ood weather there wasn't and hadn't been a single dog walker onsite all morning and as the Ibis fed at the edge there was no danger that it would be flushed. After making a couple of panicking phone calls whilst firing off the camera like a three year old with a machine gun (the photos were all shit) the Ibis realised that it wouldn't get a decent meal disturbance or not and promptly left for the Old Moor area where three weeks
on it still resides...
|Disappointingly only two Whinchat so far.|
|Hobby can be tricky some years.|
|The first Spring record of Black Tern|
The Patchwork Challenge has totally taken all my birding time so far this year and to say that I'm addicted would be an understatement. As I write I've amassed a total of 120 species and 142 points, slightly ahead of last year but on course for a record year. Again August will be the make or break month and there's still lots of waders to aim for....
|Easy when you've got a comparison species.|
|For once a peaceful year (so far) for the many Hares|