Not content with the Dusky Thrush last weekend, notching up as it did the big 4-00, today I have started down the path towards that next major milestone. Yep, 410 is well and truly in my sights.I was doing a spot of sky-watching from the terrace this morning when my phone alerted me to a Roller in Hampshire. A quick check of the map to determine which bit of Hampshire, and I was in the car and rolling in under five minutes. And this with two children, snacks and diversionary items. Yup, I've still got it!
Roller and I have a somewhat sad history - it remains one of the few birds I've ever dipped, a tediously long diversion on the way back from Scotland for the long-staying Yorkshire bird which chose that particular day, well, afternoon actually, to hide, reappearing in exactly the same spot the following day. The previous Suffolk bird, which all my twitching compatriots scored, saw me with a puncture and little available time. But with two gettable birds in two years, I felt my chances were good. Not that I was expecting it this weekend you understand, but I'll take it.
My ridiculoulsy relaxed state of mind when it comes to all things birding still persists from last weekend. A wader or a gull and I doubt I would have moved. Roller however, being large and blue, and generally awesome, and the twitchometer went off the scale. The journey was long and painful, taking at least an hour longer than it ought to have done, but by 3pm the girls and I were gazing at a lump of glorious turquoise. Great scope views as it flew around, but too distant for anything other than record shots.
News of a Terek Sand on the way home, albeit a large detour, had me thinking briefly of a two tick day, but the girls had spent long enough in the car so we went straight home. If it's there tomorrow I might go for it, but it scores very few points in the large and bright blue section. Instead I'm going to have a day behind the camera. I've barely touched it recently, and I'm getting a very itchy trigger finger. Unable to go out this morning, I spent some time in the garden lining up the local Collared Doves. They came out OK, but not quite what I had in mind. Hopefully I'll get a bit closer to some more interesting birds tomorrow. Then again, maybe news of yet another mega will break and I'll be forced to go and twitch it. I seem to be on a bit of a roll, so why not ride the wave while it lasts?