Tuesday 26 November 2013


I have recovered from the drive to Pembrokeshire. All it took was a nice day at work and I'd forgotten all about it. Easy! I'm getting too old for these massive days out, especially ones with a really early start. Well, let me clarify, I can cope with it if I snooze gently in a passenger seat, which has happened on more than one occasion. This time, however, I was doing the driving and it really takes it out of you if you have to do it all in a day. That's part of why weekends away, or short trips like the one to the Uists are so much better. You can take it at a slower pace and not completely knacker yourself, but it comes at the cost of time away from home. As I said think I said yesterday, and if I didn't, I meant to - if the birds could just stop now please, I would be very grateful as I need some time to do other things. The last time I had two ticks in November was in 2010, by this point in the year I can usually count on being able to chill out. But 2013 appears to be different, breaking all the rules.

Amazingly the Orphean Warbler hasn't been seen at all today, so the boys and I are officially pretty jammy. Whether the bird is just intoxicated and asleep under a bush from eating so many fermenting apples is not yet known, but if it has really gone then that's a massive result that I finally got my arse in gear and went down yesterday. Very lucky, as I don't much like dipping, and due to the timings I had to travel on no news. This is not something I would normally do if I can avoid it, and with Dick stupidly and recklessly suggesting it was wintering only a few hours before we left, I'm amazed it didn't leave there and then, leaving me to write about a big dip! But at the end of the day it's only a bird and if I hadn't gone, or had gone a day later and missed it, would that really matter at all? Not in the slightest, you can't see 'em all, and what's more I don't intend to try.

What I do want to try and do is drag my sorry ass around the patch between now and the end of the year. My commitment this side of June has been pitiful, and although I am caning it in the listing stakes this is hugely unrepresentative of the effort I have put in. However for one last hurrah I reckon I can get myself to a frankly massive 120 species, as I need just two, and I reckon exactly two are on the cards - one a resident, and one an easily annual winter visitor. The only issue is actually physically being on the patch and as I've no more trips away there is no excuse really.

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