Sunday, 15 July 2012

A break in the weather

I thought I'd never say it, but July is turning out worse than June. Today was the first day I can remember in some time when the sky wasn't the colour of a wet carpark, and the heavens weren't dumping on us every half hour. So far there hasn't been a drop of rain today, it all feels a bit weird actually. No doubt it will kick in again soon.

I've been pretty busy at work, birding opportunities have been limited. I did manage to scope, gloriously, a third year Yellow-legged Gull at Canary Wharf, which was another one towards my pack of peanuts, but Parus hit back almost instantly with both House Martin and Sand Martin. I expect that, like me, he hasn't really been trying, but when he got wind of my Gull and realised I was just one behind, he nipped out in double time  - and sadly coincided with a hirundine double act. As for the patch, I can't remember what it looks like.

To rectify this I popped out this morning to see if it was still there. It was, just about, but somebody has taken all the birds, which I normally equate with June. Quiet doesn't even come close. For starters, most of the patch is underwater. Rather than the waderfest you might think this would herald, all it means is that you tramp around getting wet feet. I had no more chance of seeing a wader this morning than I did of seeing an anti-aircraft battery. Oh, wait.....

Health and Safety is everywhere - the soldiers have to wear blue safety-harnesses. I bet they didn't join the army for that!
Yes, look, this has moved in. The residents of the Fred Wigg tower lost their legal appeal earlier this week against the MoD placing high-velocity missiles on top of their tower. Their argument that this diminished the value of their own arsenal was sadly not persuasive enough for Mr Justice Olympics Rubber-stamp, and so last week - unless they were lowered by helicopter - some poor squaddies had to lug what looks like a very heavy piece of kit up to the roof. I was of course very careful taking this, and made sure that the soldiers were looking the other way. The middle one looks to have bins, but I had taken my shot and retreated behind the broom before he turned round. Not that it mattered though, as they were visible from pretty much all points on the Flats, and every time I looked he was still looking the other way. Maybe they have a large mirror or something, but anyone hell-bent on sneaking past them would likely be fine if they approached from the east....

Bird-wise, nothing doing. Some juvenile Chiffchaffs, a juvenile Green Woodpecker. I got photos of neither. I knew it was hopeless before I even left. Instead I was seeing if I could take photos with a 2x extender. I can, just about, but they're not great. If you're so inclined, you can read about it here. If you're not, you can instead admire this beauty. Yes, that is vomit you can taste at the back of your throat.

A vision of loveliness

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