The weather has been ace. Too ace. Never content with what is actually rather pleasant, particularly for layabouts such as my good self, most British birders are now moaning about how bad (ie good) the weather is. It is too nice, and all the good birds are simply flying straight over the top of frustrated inland patchworkers. The Norfolk coast is getting a few bits, Spurn and the East coast are getting a few bits. London however is dead, and Wanstead is at the lower end of the dead scale. Neither I nor any of the local birders have registered a new patch bird at all in May. We logged our first Swifts on the last day of April, and since then, the only things going through have been tumbleweeds.
That said we had an excellent April - too good, we commented at the time. It's going to be a long summer, we said. The first Wheatears arrived on March 30th, and then we had everything in the space of about three weeks, including almost all the birds we expected to see in the autumn. We're missing Spotted Flycatcher, which is nailed on in the last ten days of August, and Common Tern, which depending on the fortunes of birds in the Lea Valley, we may see feeding during the summer. Essentially, although June is a week away, it's actually been June for the last three weeks. This is why I have been uncharacteristically meandering somewhat off-topic of late - there is nothing to tell of birds in Wanstead. I went and checked for you to see if the Grebe chicks had hatched, they hadn't, and I am now sat at home waiting for autumn.
So, if you, like me, are struggling for inspiration, and the light at the end of the tunnel seems very very distant, here are a few things you can be getting on with - this is what I am currently doing. And seeing as this website is my life in html, all of these get to be future blog topics. Sorry.
1) Enter all your historic bird sightings into Birdtrack.
2) Catch moths in the garden.
3) Relive past twitching glories.
4) Taking the rough with the smooth, recall with fondness your best ever dips.
5) Dust the house. Damply.
Unless something extraordinary happens (which, being June, it won't), that's me done for a week in the blogging stakes; I'll do one a day (apart from number 5, which I have no intention of doing at all), so you can dip in as and when you like. If Birdtrack isn't your thing, come back on Wednesday. Similarly, if you don't want to hear about Fea's [type] Petrels and recent Audouin's Gulls, my advice would be to skip Thursday. Bet you I get loads of hits on Friday.