Amur Regretting This.

For me new birds are becoming few and far between and when something that I do need turns up it tends to be on some far-flung island that I just don't have the bottle to twitch these days, though to be fair I've never been much of an island twitcher.

Friday 7th was my day off, though as with every day I was up at 5:30 ready to be on the patch by 6. I'd managed the 3S routine before picking my phone up and catching up with last nights bird news. The downside of getting up early is that I'm generally in bed fairly early and this time there really was a downside. The news of an Amur Falcon at Polgigga, Cornwall had broken at about 21:20 the previous evening and I'd slept through it all. No problem it was still early, quick trip around the patch and leave on positive news. I didn't have to wait long only half way around the lake and the news that it was still came through. Dashed back home, chucked a few bits in the car and headed south.

The plan was; see the bird, take some photos, have a pasty, stay over with my holidaying parents and drive home the following morning.

In reality it went like this:

The highlight of the trip!
Get almost as far as Exeter and hear that it's flown off. Mood changes. Convince myself to carry on, and that it's just having a brief fly around. Update at 11:30 that it's been seen again. Mood improves, it's obviously still in the area. At Hayle by 1pm no further news. Console myself by buying a huge Phelps pasty* - at least I won't go hungry whilst waiting for it. Fill up with fuel and do the last 10 miles to Polgigga, by this point thinking (out loud) that this was a very bad idea.  Arrive at Polgigga at 2 ish and note the rather scant number of observers present.  I got the impression that nobody (including me) present during the day had the vaguest idea about where the bird had actually roosted the previous evening something that became evident later.  Despite unsubstantiated reports from the Sennen area and rumour that the the bird had been present for 3 days it was not seen again. Personally I think that it had arrived the previous evening, dropped into the first bit of cover and roosted in the open waiting for it to get warm, feed up and move on.

By dusk I was too knackered to drive home and with vague optimism, that it might have sneaked into roost, I decided to stay over in the car. The Peugeot 108 does not make a good bed for the night, kind of like folding yourself into a suitcase! The following morning and with the help of various crowd shots from the previous day I managed to locate the roost spot. Obviously it wasn't there but I tried to imagine how great I would feel had I refound it. Which frankly like the whole trip was a bloody daft idea.  With that I threw in the proverbial towel and headed home via my sympathetic parents!

Quite a different scene from 24 hours earlier. To make it worse there were two horses hiding among the cows. 
I bloody hate horses!

*Not a pie but acceptable when in Cornwall

Back For Good

Well three years since I did anything on here, so why choose now to start back up? I'm a firm believer of not doing stuff when it stops being enjoyable, and that's pretty much what happened. So why start again? No idea really, I just got the urge to take it up again and I apologise in advance if it turns out like most comebacks to be a complete pile of crap!

Readers of this blog (I make the assumption that there are some) in the past may have found me (in no particular order) boring, witty, annoying, antagonistic, spiteful, funny, inspiring, wordy, illiterate .... and so on and so on.  I purposefully left out words such as intelligent, knowledgeable, ace birder (two words obviously), because I'm not. I'm just an average middle-aged socialist, who lives in the grim northern town of Rotherham and likes birding. I don't claim to be an expert birder, because I am very far from that. However, I have been birding since the age of 12 and I love it - always have, probably always will.

When this blog started back in 2007 I was in a dark place (read the early posts, they are bloody awful). Filled with venom and Prozac (literally), I spewed out posts filled with bile and sometimes hate.  Ten years on and that's all behind me - mostly. So, readers (again I make assumptions) what can you possibly expect to read in the coming months?

Birds. Of course, birds.

Pies. Some, though I'm choosey these days and pastry gives me indigestion! Who knew?

Patching. I dare say that somewhere in the dark corner of the internet "patching" means something sexual, I recently discovered that "dusting" is not just something you do when trying to impress the wife to earn vital birding Brownie points - or maybe it is! I digress. Patching in my case is my near daily obsession birding Orgreave. Since last visiting blogger I've managed to find a few tasty species there, such as: White-winged Black Tern, Caspian Tern, Great White Egret and Temminck's Stint, all top drawer rares from a local perspective. Entering the Patchwork Challenge has increased my obsession, taking on well-established (proper nature reserves) in the Inland North.

Caspian Tern as it headed north from Carr Vale 22nd July 16

Twitching:  Less and less of this these days, but there will be some.

Politics: For the record I'm pro EU, anti-austerity, hate the Tories and love Corbyn, given the chance I would take out Trump tomorrow. I'll probably steer clear of politics!

Lee: Who? One for the birders I guess.  I think that's run its course.

Photos: Lots of photos, ranging from awful to record shots. I'm no photographer, I'm a birder with a camera who gets lucky now and again. DSLR, bridge camera and recently back into digiscoping. 

Life. Occasional more personal posts, probably about my wonderful wife and amazingly intelligent daughter. Sick bags are optional.

So that's it. Like watching Love Island it's your choice nobody made you look. Enjoy.

Oh, and this is me. If you ever have the misfortune to meet me, feel free to chat, mock or just punch me in the face. You can even follow me on Twitter @mn_reeder but I really am very boring!