Sunday 29 March 2020

Dressing Gown Birding

I've ditched my red camo hat. Indeed almost all my outdoor clothing is now mothballed for the forseeable future. I am probably not the only one - if people are being sensible this is probably happening up and down the land. Instead a new birding wardrobe is coming into fashion. Enter the dressing gown. Expect there to be a best-selling "Birders in their Dressing Gowns" calendar released later this year, complete with optics. Who wants to be Mr. April?

Beige and boring. Like me.

This highly versatile bit of kit is an essential #BWKM0 item that birders cannot afford to be without. Mine is beige and, like its wearer, has seen better days. In recent days it has been seeing a lot more use - I am not normally a slobbing around the house all day kind of person. It has become my go-to birding attire from the bedroom/observatory, and with apologies to my neighbours, also features quite heavily out on the balcony in the mornings.

Bright and early today I was out again and wrapped up in it again. A stiff breeze was blowing and I was glad of the extra warmth that it provided. The first new bird for the lockdown list was a Grey Heron, pretty regular around here but mysteriously absent these past few days. And just as that had stopped flopping around, the whole reason for me being out on the balcony flew past - a flock of about 20 seeping Redwing headed north. All before 7am, lockdown birding at its finest and takes me to the giddy heights of 45.

What I need now is a change in the weather. Specifically I either need a very very still day, or a gentle wind that blows from the south. In these conditions I can usually pick up the distant trills of the Skylarks on Wanstead Flats, and during the night, the Coots on Jubilee Pond. 

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