Sunday, 5 April 2020

Walking. Not Gardening.

I must write a gardening post soon. I am well aware that many birders are all-round naturalists, and will be very interested in my efforts to tempt creepy-crawlies into the grounds of NQS Manor. Actually I am a shocking gardener, and must tell you about when I...

No. Another time.

Anyway, while I was up to my knuckles in green fingers today, at least 5 Swallows went through, and a bonus Red Kite which actually set off the gulls. The first one this spring to do so; the others have been too high. Swallow brings my #BWKM0 list to 35. Frustration of the day was an egret sp which went over N. Only my second egret from the garden, and I caught only the back end. A two-second glimpse really. Dark feet! Possibly. I ran around to the front, but the bird was hidden behind trees. Yeah. I know. Of course it was a Little Egret, but you've got to take any and every opportunity to gee yourself up a bit in these #BWKM0 times, right?

Yesterday I went for a serious exercise walk. Nice and early, and all the way to the sea. Obviously I didn't actually seawatch, but a couple of scans produced some 30+ Common Scoter heading E. So that's what the treacherous creatures are doing; migrating by day, over the sea, instead of by night, over my house. Two ducks which obviously were not Scoters, but were a little too far out for my bins, succumbed to the P900...

Nikon Coolpix P900 sorts distant ducks. Wigeon.

I am so gutted that the spring seawatching season has been blown out of the water by this poxy virus. I am really looking forward to trying to get skua photos/video with this camera one day. One day.

Other stuff from the big walk...

Confiding Skylark. It was great to hear quite a few in song.

A presumed migrant Mipit having a breather.

One of just two Wheatears seen. A bit coy.

Call that a bill? This is a bill. (Movie reference for the almost-elderly) Raven.

First Holly Blue of the year. Always a real treat.

There was basically nobody about during the outbound part of my walk, but a few more on the return. Living in an area with such a modest population density has its advantages when the only folk you ought to be encountering are locals, because there are relatively so few of them. I would hate to be trying to get some socially-distanced exercise in a city.

Most of the day was then spent in the garden. Bird-wise unexciting, until a dark shape appeared, heading S. I grabbed the camera, switched it on, zoomed, focused, and rattled off a single burst of three shots before it went out of eyeshot. Cormorant! New for the BWKM0 list. We get the odd one in winter, but they're not common.

Cormorant. Sometimes I can do flight shots.

It is now about 22:00. For the last three nights I've been outside about now, wrapped up in winter clobber, listening carefully to the sound of an empty sky. I reckon I've given it a fair crack.

A night off, I think. I'm not a complete idiot.


  1. Glad to see you are still sane and making the best of it.

    1. Cheers Dave, yes. So far, so good. When this is all over I imagine we will all have a far greater appreciation for loads of stuff we used to take for granted. And very clean cars.