Sunday, 1 March 2020
This image may not mean much to the majority of birders - but to me and one or two other 'Surrey-ites' it is an image of hope. You see that sliver of silver in the middle of the picture? That is the English Channel at Shoreham, spied through a gap in the South Downs. And, get this, this photograph was taken from the top of Leith Hill tower, IN SURREY! Yes, we can, believe it or not, see the sea from this land-locked and most ornithologically deprived of counties. Just this small consolation prize can open up the mind to all sorts of possibilities. I am imagining a conveyor belt of migrants arriving over the sea, heading for that gap and making a bee-line for the Surrey Hills, and then spreading out across the high plateau that I haunt. Hirundines, chats, warblers, all waiting for the nod of Spring. And I'm here waiting for them... with the patience of a Saint and the hope of a chronic optimist. My plan is for a 100% on foot traipse around the mini-Uber patch tomorrow - and being the month of March I really should see one or two signs of movement. I will report back.