Mrs L went out today. To do music. This is her hobby, we must not begrudge it. I have, afterall, been known to go out birding from time to time. Not often, but nonetheless those few days of absenteeism are felt. And noted. So today it was her turn. She would only be gone for a few hours, she said. Back mid-afternoon, she said. Mrs L's mid-afternoon is 5:30pm. My mid-afternoon is about 1pm, perhaps 1:30. I pined.
So, no birding today. Well, I could have gone out on the patch this morning, I had a very slim window of opportunity, but I elected to stay in my nice warm bed and make soft snoring noises. This is another rare event, and as the days grow shorter and the nights colder, one I am hopeful of repeating. It has been a very pleasant weekend of low achievement. Precisely, had we had need of a doctor, what he would have ordered. My birding has been restricted to a very brief foray yesterday before lunch. This was enough to relocate the long-staying female Wigeon on Alexandra Lake, and not relocate the six Teal that have been hanging around. In fact the whole sortie could easily have been in vain had a Woodcock not flown past me whilst I was in the Broom Fields on the way back. Naturally there is no photo. I merely looked blankly at it as it flew past, and as it inclined it's head fractionally in my direction, I recalled the camera hanging off my shoulder, but of course it was too late. It nipped over the trees of Long Wood, and appeared to drop in. Even though it is November now, I decided not to go and look for it. The statistician I employ to count birds for me notes that this is only the second ever Woodcock that I have seen in Wanstead, and its sighting exactly mirrors the first, which also flew past my very surprised head in the Broom Fields and plopped into Long Wood. He also mentioned that this is patch year-tick 111, the dreaded Nelson, and that I had to hop home. This I dutifully did, and when I eventually arrived at Chateau L, further good news awaited me - the Woodcock was in fact an actual year tick, new for 2011 anywhere. I shan't tell you the number, it would be embarrassing.
The rest of the weekend has, as I mentioned, been binocular-free. A Greater Yellowlegs annoyed me briefy by being in Northumberland for the entire weekend, but once I realised that even contemplating twitching such a distance was utter madness, it ceased to rankle, and I busied myself doing nothing. Doing nothing, as any good interviewer will tell you, involves playing with children, stopping them fighting, cooking them food, and cleaning up after them. I did a great deal of nothing today, and am rather tired. And when, finally, Mrs L arrived back home, I flopped gratefully into an armchair with a vodka tonic enhanced by passion-fruit syrup, the handover complete. A little later on, I noticed she had left her laptop unguarded on the kitchen worktop. I snuck up to it, got up Google, and searched for "lovely husband", aiming to leave it on that page, just so she knew. Google is a marvellous thing sometimes. Do you know what it said? Try it at home and see if it works for you of if it's a phenomenon unique to Chateau L. Here, at any rate, a search for "lovely husband" brings up "did you mean to search for lonely husband?" Quite.