Wednesday, 19 May 2010


I'm going to have a bit of a moan. This isn't just because I had my front tyre go down three times this morning, although that hasn't helped my mood. First a thorn caused a puncture, which was easily fixed. Then the rubber split at the base of the valve as I was pumping it up. Fortunately I carry a spare tube and with that on I set off for work only to find it had a slow puncture so I had to keep stopping to pump it up.

I am actually a bit sick of missing loads of birds. But surely I've seen loads too? Yes but even then the effort required has been far greater than it needed to be.

1. Little Gull. There have been only two in the area this year. The first was found at Ferry Meadows just after I'd left after finding the 2 Little Terns - more of those later. I'd been up really early and had a right soaking so I wasn't going back. Then yesterday I come in via Orton BP, seeing very little, only to find a Little Gull is there later in the day. So I go home that way and of course it has gone.

2. Spotted Redshank. I made many early trips down the Central Drove plus an evening visit on the birdrace while a bird was present but for some reason it didn't show.

3. Whimbrel. I have a terrible record with Whimbrel. This year I've made just one pre-work trip to Maxey GP so far and a Whimbrel turns up there the following morning. Grrr!

4. Egyptian Goose. Seen one morning at Ferry Meadows but no sign when I searched at lunchtime. Then seen several more times but no luck for me on multiple passes through the area.

5. Little Tern. Ok, at the end of a truly awful early ride morning dipping on Bar-tailed Godwit and Spotted Redshank that had been present late the previous evening on the washes, I get thoroughly soaked and end up finding 2 Little Terns at Ferry Meadows on the way home. Lucky you might think. No. On 14th May Matt found another which I see easily on the way home from work that day. OK it was nice to find the two but as far as the year list goes that day was a total wipeout.

6. Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. Another year when it took me 6 trips to locate the species. I gave up after three goes at Old Sulehay and went for the showy birds at Castor Hanglands and even then I had to do the long ride three times before succeeding.

7. Whinchat. I decide to go home via one reported at Serpentine BP, which turns out to be a nightmare of a ride, involving getting lost in Orton Malborne, struggling with the bike over obstructions to gain access to the site and flogging it hard to get home at a reasonable time afterwards. Then I get a call that there is one at Castor Mill which would have been a much easier ride home. Of course I have since seen one easily on the birdrace. Another wasted effort!

OK, so Spotshank, Whimbrel and Little Gull could yet fall but it is not proving easy. Roll on the 150 and more positive thinking.

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