25th February: When I'm 64
24th February: Achoo
23rd February: Man Flu
17th February. Red Sunday
Having had awesome views of the Kites we headed back north. A report of a probable juv Thayer's Gull (or hybrid) at Poolsbrook C.P gave us a good excuse for a diversion on the way home. Unfortunately the gull, which had been showing well, flew back towards Erin Tip 20 minutes before we arrived. However after 30 minutes one of the original finders (KRG) picked up a bird that was probably it flying probably towards Staveley. So I probably saw a probable Thayer's Gull or hybrid, which is what most Thayer's Gulls probably are !!! I hate these obscure gulls. Less obscure was Glacous Gull and a 2nd winter Iceland Gull which was claimed as a Kumlien's (another obscure bag o' shite).
16th February. Blue Saturday
15th February. What no Coots
The pair of Stonechats were still at Pit-house West in the gorse field west of the Chinese Bridge.
10th February. Egrets I've had a few.
The day ended nicely with a showey Short-eared Owl near the Howdens Pullover car park.
9th February. Of unknown origin.
A brief stop at my mum's for refreshments was interrupted by a pager message of a Night Heron near Penistone. Not the most exciting of birds and possibly of dubious origins it was still tempting. A male Peregrine over the M1, presumably on its way back to the cooling towers at Meadowhall was a brief distraction from driving! The Night Heron was visible from the car park at Scout Dyke and was typically dull, though apparently the first twitchable one in the Barnsley area.
Mid-afternoon I visited Pit-house West and saw bugger all except for a flock of 27 Meadow Pipits and a Red Admiral butterfly basking in the Mediterranean style weather, which no doubt also produced the Night Heron!
Following a two hour trudge round PHW I was torn between returning home for some crispy duck or going to Steetley for a Ferruginous Duck, both coincidently of unknown origin. Unfortunately despite an array of sat' nav', street maps and atlas I not only failed to see the bird I actually failed to find the village - DOH!!
5th February: The Queen is dead long live the Queen
I had intended to visit the gull roost at Broomhead this afternoon but unfortunately my plans were truly pissed on by a very heavy downpour. Friday will be my next opportunity.
4th February: Log in the bog
There's some dirty buggers in this office block. On Friday afternoon I made a semi hurried visit to the water closet. As my favourite trap, number 2, was occupied I turned to trap 1. Horror of horrors a log the size of Moby Dick was floundering menacingly in the now murky waters. I beat a hasty retreat and clenched for a bit longer. Imagine my surprise, this morning, when Tim reported it as still being in a beached state. Fortunately by lunch time an attempt to refloat the beast had been succesful. I should hate to visit the house of whoever commited this most evil of crimes a visit by the Bottom Inspectors is in order.
This whole episode reminds me of a week on the Isles of Scilly. During a stay with the Llamas a suspect package appeared in the toilet and resided there (showing well, despite numerous flushing attempts) for the entire week. This was a particularly good, almost a classic year on Scilly but for me was tarnished by the mystery turd layer of Hugh Town. Which incidently turned out to be a certain egg bound Northern Isles based Llama.
3rd February. Of shops and birds.
Sunday was no better as the plans for the day involved catching up on sleep, eating, shopping and some minor decorating.
The sleeping went to plan as did the eating of a big grilled breakfast. The shopping was brief, but a quick (if that's possible) visit to the Leeds Ikea produced a rather nice flock of Golden Plovers on their roof and two long staying Waxwings just around the corner. Jo' was suitably impressed with the Waxwings and by the time we had returned to Sheffield she was confidently identifying Wood Pigeons and Black-headed Gulls. My cunning plan to only take her to see pretty birds, such as the Waxwings, is working. Show her the pretty stuff first then when she's hooked introduce her to the brown dregs that Autumn usually offers.