19th July. In search of pie

Unable to do any birding this morning due to Beth not wanting to go out! Despite this she did agree to go out in the afternoon so we had a trip to Blacktoft. Passing the newly created lagoons of Potteric Carr alongside the M18 I couldn't help feel rather envious that the surrounding towns of Doncaster and Barnsley probably have two of the finest inland Nature Reserves in the country, whilst those of us in neighbouring Rotherham and Sheffield have to make the most of defunct reservoirs and reclaimed coal tips. Fortunately living alongside the motorway networks of the A1,M1,M18 these sites are only minutes away with Blacktoft being just a 45 minute drive away. So perhaps I shouldn't really moan, it could be worse I could live in Shropshire!

Blacktoft was as usual teeming with the affluent retired bird watching types that predominately inhabit RSPB reserves and stick their nose in the air at the site of children! Fortunately it must have been getting close to the old dears afternoon tea time as most seemed to be leaving. The pools were on the whole disappointing with high water levels at all bar Marshlands. Consequently waders were in short supply though a family party of Marsh Harriers kept us entertained. Marshlands was by far the best spot with the usual mix of returning waders including 7 variable plumaged Spotted Redshanks, Green Sand', Turnstone and c.100 Dunlin. Returning home I remembered someone telling me of a pie retailer on the way to Blacktoft but can't remember who or where it was - it was during last October's drunken Shetland ramblings!
Any info greatly received.

16th July. Strike

Having considered the pros and cons of going out on strike I realised that there really aren't any pros apart from a couple of days off for which I pay a princely sum. Despite this I decided to strike. There was however a pro in that I got to spend the morning ringing at Williamthorpe. During this (my fourth session) I managed to set up two mist nests and ring a nice mix of passerines Reed Warbler, SedgeWarbler,Willow Tit and House Martin were the highlights among others.

Still very quiet locally with my first visit to RVCP (on Monday) for almost 2 months producing just 3 Curlews and 5 Common Terns. Surely only a couple more weeks before a few decent waders start coming through!

11th July. Some Pie

At last a taste of some proper pie. This delicious Chilli Con Carne and Cheese pie was purchased from an unknown supplier at a summer fair by big Norm'. Having been sat in the fridge for 5 days it was a little like playing Russian Roulette but with a pie. Having been nuked for 2 minutes said pie was divided and scoffed. A full 10 points on the Pie Scale (remember that?).
The autumn pie season is offically under way

9th July. look out the window it's pissing it down again!!

The wader score on my 'new' patch rose to 3 this morning with a Ringed Plover and that's about as exciting as it gets!
Anyone who visits Facebook these days might stumble across The Leicester Llamas Appreciation Society
Those of us who loved the Llamas (though not physically) can pay homage to them there and inflate their large ego's and perhaps encourage the missing two off their foppish arses and start poking fun at the new breed of listers (not forgetting Lee of course).

6th July. Summer!

The summer is rapidly turning into yet another washout, with the usual non birding diversions i.e. Dragonflies, Moth Traps and getting drunk outdoors becoming impossible.
Despite a late night last night I managed to be out by 7am and first visited Whiston Meadows. Unfortunately some rather hard looking horses were blocking the path and I wasn't going to be the one to ask them to move, so I left. Next stop Orgreave Opencast,tenuously linked with the last site in that is was the location of the last cavalry charge in Britain (probably horsey relatives of the aforementioned menacing looking equines) during the infamous Battle of Orgreave.
Prior to opencasting this site had a secret pool atop of it which I used to visit regularly. Apart from a Med' Gull and Spotshank I had very little of note but the site always looked promising. Now that open casting is complete at least two pools have been created and look equally promising particularly given the demise of RV as an attractive wader spot. To prove my point there were at least 8 Little Ringed Plovers, Common Sand and 55 Lesser Black-backed Gulls. Now I just need to find a better view point.
Nearby Treeton Dyke was quiet as usual though a pair of Great Crested Grebes were carrying newly hatched young on there backs -awe!!

2nd July. Moley

A strange pile of muck appeared in the garden this morning - a mole hill. The little bugger must have had a jack hammer as the ground around here is hard clay. It must have shot back down pretty quick when it realised that three killer cats and two gay rabbits were in the vicinity!

It's not safe to turn your back around here!

As I arrived at work I was awoken by a mega alert stating 'Little Swift at Old Moor' (or Wath Ings as I prefer to remember it). Having seen a couple before I wasn't too bothered but with a Spoonbill also present (one of the RV flyovers from the other weekend) who could resist a trip. Despite finishing work at 4 I decided to go home and have my tea first, which on reflection was a bad move as the swift buggered off before we set off. Still, the Spoonbill was very nice.