Monday, 9 April 2012

A Funny Old Spring

It has been a funny old spring. I suppose by funny I mean slow. V-eee-rrr-y slow. It started well enough, with some fairly early Wheatears, almost the earliest ever in fact. And then it died a death. It's approaching mid-April, and I've not seen a Sand Martin anywhere. I've not seen a Swallow either. No Redstarts, no Yellow Wagtails. In short, no nothing. The Ring Ouzel really bucked the trend on Saturday, and so it was with a feelings of mild hopelessness that I set off into the rain this morning, ostensibly to twitch a Willow Warbler that had been reported. I could only finally find Blackcaps, but as soon as crossed Centre Road and hit the eastern Flats, what should I hear but "Chuck chuck chuck"! A Ring Ouzel launched out of some scrub and flew high south, appearing to land towards South Copse. Naturally it was never seen again. My impression of the bird as it went away was that it wasn't especially dark, so I put it out as a probable female. Later it occurred to me that it had come out of pretty much the same spot as the male bird on Saturday had flown into - could it have been the same bird that eluded us all on Saturday and Sunday? Despite the paucity of migrants, I'm sticking to my guns and saying it was a different one, but it certainly had me scratching my head. Not that it matters I suppose, but it was at least some compensation for six hours tramping around in the rain today. One Wheatear was the only other notable bird, and not a sniff of anything else. Four days on the patch and very little to show for it I'm afraid. Can I go back to Norway?

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