The classic Gillan track "Unchain your brain!"; man could I do with some of that at present, was in my consciousness as I started my shift this morning. I had a nightmare, unable to concentrate on the task at hand, Debbie and the kids playing on my mind continually. Fortunately, my boss is a proper bloke and allowed me time for a chat - just to sit there and listen to my worries and offer whatever assistance he (FSIS) is able.
It's surprising how much better I felt after I had unburdened my woes.
I was able to grab a couple of hours, this afternoon, and used it to have a wander around Newland's Farm. I had seen a male Stonechat, on the fence around the Scaffolder's yard, as I walked home yesterday and was amazed to find it still present today. Fairly flighty, the situation wasn't helped by the passage of kids making their way home from school. However, I did manage to grab a few record images of this individual and was delighted to discover a second, a female, in the Old Rose Garden.
A decent number of Pied Wagtails were foraging amongst the cauliflower stubble but, try as I might, no White Wags were to be seen. A single Skylark flushed with a group of seven Meadow Pipits and a lone Fieldfare was seen along the Pyson's Road boundary. I was rather enjoying the afternoon, although the light conditions were atrocious, for any sort of photography, but I clicked way regardless. There were at least two groups of Linnets, probably numbering 30 - ish birds, with a couple of Goldfinches tagging along for good measure.
The Herring Gull colony, on Bookers roof, seems to be gathering and selecting their chosen nest positions, although the Lesser Black-backs have yet to arrive back on site. I can't describe my efforts as birding - it was far less arduous than that, yet rewarding all the same. Just what I needed.