UPDATE ... it seems to be working now ...
No laughing at the back !
It has been a sunny day after that sick joke of a "spring" we haven't had.
Here's the proof of said sunnyness...
Seeing as how the Librarian had the use of the RayCar this morning I took the dog for a long walk along the canal ... well, more accurately by the canal. Target bird was Kingfisher for my May 3k local patch list.
I will get rid of the tension right now by telling you that I didn't see one...though I met someone who did.
However, I did see a few good things... good in a local/Aldcliffe-type context you understand.
First off, a lovely Little Owl was conveniently sitting on the lower right branch of a conveniently close tree ... and I snapped it... the bird, not the branch. The sheer quality of this snap will impress you, even more so as I did it by holding the bins in one hand, the tinky pocket camera in the other, holding the latter up to the former and pushing the button whilst squinting into the sun hence complete inability to see what the hell I was snapping. But it's there, in a "Where's Wally" kind of way.
A canal barge lady came out of her canal barge to see what this strangely-scarfed idiot was doing outside her barge. I told her, and I lent her the bins and she ticked it.
I then trundled further on and into the Deep Cutting. Back in the old days I did this walk almost every morning before work, with, of course, an entirely different dog. Per person per day I saw very little, but over the years good sightings came along... Lesser Spot, Water Rails, Common Sands, Minks, various Terns, Woodcocks etc etc. .... and pretty much every year in the first few days of May, a Wood Warbler would turn up .
When I told top birder Ziggy ( Hello Ziggy) about this I don't think he believed me, I mean, who does (?) , but as he was compiling an Aldcliffe List at the time I promised I would ring him up next time a Wood Warbler showed itself. It did, I did, he got it.
Well readers, today was, flukily, an actual bang-to-rights Wood Warbler day. Tootling past the bridge thingy in the deep cutting I heard a Wood Warbler singing.... and a bit of patient waiting produced the bird itself....... May 2nd, 10 am, Wood Warbler. Honk Honk!!!.
And that wasn't all.... just before leaving the DC on the return trundle, I heard a quiet warbling amongst the assembled greenery. Ha, I thought, it's one of those sneaky sub-singing Blackcaps that all those misguided twerpkins ID as Garden Warblers. More patient waiting ensued, the bird came into view and it was a bloody Garden Warbler. This species has become increasingly harder to "get" in my little patch over the last few years so there was considerable internal rejoicing at this modest sighting.
So there we are. We won't even mention all the other exciting things... me trying to fool the dog but she fooled me instead, an old bloke stopping me to ask how far I could see through "those binoculars" , finding that Moschatel was still flowering in the usual top secret places, another old bloke asking me if I had ever seen a Goldfinch, plus, incredibly, on two separate occasions a person coming towards me along the canal path turned round and set off back again.... twice! .... the fun never ends. It must be that stupid Dr. Who scarf of mine.
And now some lovely music from Datblygu ... Cyn Symud i ddim ... currently the top track on that new-fangled mp3 gadget...
Quite New-Orderesque in places ...