I last went birding locally in about mid-May. I realise that this is poor, but I have felt absolutely no compunction to go out. I am not sure I have missed a great deal in listing terms, but I have definitely missed out on the inner calm that birding brings, that feeling of connection with a local patch, that it is "yours" and you know it so intimately. I am not worried, the desire to reacquaint myself with its highways and byways will surely come again and I will find, as I always do, that I have not forgotten it at all and that pleasingly nothing has changed. This is typical of a long-term relationship with an area, be it green or urban. I get it when I revisit my childhood haunts; various parts of Cambridge, the village and countryside where my grandparents lived in Sussex, other places with which I have a long association. Years can pass but when I am at one of these places it is as if it were only yesterday. I have been here before and I will be here again, mentally and physically.
But as you know I have other pursuits, other ways of maintaining my inner calm, an art long mastered. That is not to say that there has been zero birding. I have enjoyed all that I have seen from the garden for instance, screaming Swifts are daily, and last weekend whilst watching the girls play cricket a Hobby cut curves out of the sky. That same day I even managed to twitch a Ring-necked Duck in the Lea Valley and saw my first Common Terns of the year.
Anyway, to all those of you who sometimes worry that you are phasing and that this is terrible, it isn't. It is perfectly normal and nothing to be concerned about at all. Everything you once thought you loved, birding included, will return. It is there, dormant, waiting to bubble up once more.