Tales of the Unexpected
On 2 January 2013, I went to check on the wintering Firecrest(s) on Banstead Downs. As I reached the footpath where they can usually be found, the binocular strap around my neck went suddenly limp and I was lucky to catch my binoculars before they fell to the floor - the strap had worked free. After re-threading the strap I continued with my birding, seeing a Firecrest soon afterwards. It was not until the evening that I realised that my Swarovski binocular eye-pieces guard was missing - it must have fallen off when the strap had worked lose. It was not for several weeks that I returned to the same area, so I was not surprised to not find the missing guard.
Yesterday (2 January) a year to the day since the incident described in the paragraph above, I returned to check on the wintering Firecrests once more. When I got to the footpath (the same spot that my strap had worked lose 12 months previously) I took my binoculars from my rucksack and close-focussed them on a nearby bush in readiness for my crest encounter. What came into sharp focus was a Swarovski binocular eye-guard. It was hanging from a twig, obviously impaled there by a kind soul who must have found it on the ground...
I was a little spooked by this. A year to the day. I could have focussed my binoculars on any spot and at any height. It was if the whole incident had been orchestrated. If the eyepiece was the same one that I had dropped, then a year spent out in the rain, ice and sun had proved the durability of it. I want to think that it is the same guard, now happily reunited with the binoculars.
This morning I took advantage of a dry and relatively calm couple of hours by visiting Canons Farm. There was plenty of evidence of the recent weather, with downed trees and flooded fields. The Linnet flock handily settled close to me on 'Skylark Field' to enable an accurate count - at least 600 being present. Nearby were 25 Skylark, 90 Fieldfare and 60 Redwing.