Saturday 10 November 2012


Typical. My one morning out on the patch and it's raining. Raining quite hard in fact. Yep, though it pains me to admit it, I am a fair-weather birder. Especially in mid-November when there is little chance of seeing anything new, and little chance of getting a photograph that will please me. I woke up fairly early with thoughts of noble patch-working in mind, and padded softly to the window to peer out. My eyes take at least two minutes to actually work first thing, presumably another sign of ageing, and so I struggled at first to see what was going on. Was that a puddle I could discern on the other side of the road? Yes, I think so. Hmm, but was the surface of that puddle still..... some rubbing, some squinting, and yes, there were raindrops. Dammit! Still, every cloud..... I padded softly back the way I had come, and into the still-warm dent (crevasse!) in the mattress.

This is a great shame, especially as I was hoping to snaffle a Waxwing on the patch today and thus advance up the Patch List Challenge leaderboard, despite the devasting news of the loss of the main prize. Flocks up north are numbering into three figures now, and gradually a few are coming down south. London has had a handful, and surely will get more, so I need not worry unduly. It isn't all about patch ticks of course, it's about being at one with the birds joggers, dog-walkers, footballers, drunks, litter.....

Wanstead managed a flock of around 40 birds last year, and, most spectacularly of all, a small flock flew over my garden one morning while I was sky-watching - I couldn't stop grinning for days. But as everyone knows, it's all about taking photos of them as they are lovely and bright, and generally fearless. The best opportunity last year was at Lakeside Shopping Centre, somewhere I would never normally willingly go. I counted 225 there in January last year, and the carpark hedges were teeming with them just at car-window height. Perfect.

So what have you been eating then? 

1 comment:

  1. Thats funny, thats what my arse looks like after a Ruby.........