Just before I left I met Barry - the Barry that usually goes round with Harry and Larry (Stuart). I told him it was dead, wished him luck, and pottered off. Some five minutes later he texted me with news of six Wheatears on one of the logs. Huh? I dithered. Should I stay or should I go? I went. I mean went over there, i.e. I stayed. By the time I got there Nick had appeared, having enjoyed a long and pleasant night in bed, including having been asleep for much of the time I had been trudging round wondering what I was doing. The Wheatear count was now EIGHT. FFS. I had a quick look, found five of them, and then really did go home. Meanwhile Nick refound the male Redstart five minutes after arriving on the patch, and a little later had his now annual flyover Rock Pipit. What exactly am I doing wrong?
The answer is easy. Working. Or rather, working too early. I've known this for a long time, but many migrants tend to arrive after dawn rather than at or before dawn. Whilst dawn might be good for a wader or two, or a real patch mega (Osprey was very early morning for instance), it's simply too early for many of our commoner migrants. The same thing happened yesterday with Tree Pipit, and last year with our first Wheatears - I had concluded the patch was dead and gone to work in a huff, and only a short while later some poachers turned up and scored four exactly where I had been looking. Infuriating I can tell you. But what choice do I have? My job starts when it starts. The school run is when the school run is. Either I go out before those two events, or I don't go at all. So I go. Sometimes I get lucky, most of the time I bomb out.
|This Fox was out early doors, but mostly stuff was asleep.|
|More Blue Tit action from my window|