Sunday, 24 March 2013

Bloody fools and those that aren't

It's a bloody fool who looks out of the window or watches a weather forecast and decides that 'it's no good for birding' and, based on such gut instinct, decides to stay indoors. I should know, I've been that bloody fool on more than one occasion.

With a biting easterly all the way from Siberia, snow, wind chill and a blanket of dull greyness you could be forgiven for thinking that bird migration would be halted. Not a bit of it. This weekend has seen Red-rumped Swallow and Common Swift on Scilly, a Bluethroat and Kentish Plover in the Portland area, quite a few Ring Ouzels strewn across the south, three (or four) Stone-Curlews (including one at Wanstead), a passage of overland Little Gulls, Common Redstart, Hobby - I could go on. Obviously not all birders have been fooled into thinking that their efforts were bound to go unrewarded.

In Surrey, Tices Meadow outdid Beddington with Kittiwake, Little Gull, Black-tailed Godwit, LRP, Grey Plover, Ringed Plover, Redshank, Dunlin and Pintail. Beddington hit back with three Little Gulls this afternoon. The Canons Farm collective stood scoping empty fields wondering why Wanstead seems to attract Stone-curlews until a sizeable flock of Golden Plovers alighted. There's a lot going on despite the weather.

The end with, back to me being a bloody fool. In April 1980 at the end of a three week stay at Dungeness, the wind went northerly, the temperature fell and I predicted that sea passage would cease, no migrants would come in and a lie-in was the only choice for the following morning. So, after getting up at dawn for the previous twenty days I kept to my sleeping bag - only to be awoken by the joyous return of the dawn sea-watchers who had witnessed a White Stork come in off the sea and over their heads. I wasn't very happy.

2 comments:

  1. It's just pure jam Steve, nothing else. Also just to say that I've really been enjoying this blog lately.
    Cheers
    Jono

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  2. Thank you Jonathan, I take that as a great compliment. However, there is nothing about the Wanstead Stone-curlews being jam - that's down to plain, good old fashioned patch graft!

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