At 08.50 hrs I was stood outside, in the back garden, as a Sand Martin skimmed over the rooftop, headed eastwards. The most surreal sighting given that I've only ever recorded the species half a dozen times on my patch. Only one previous record from the garden and all but once in the autumn migration period. I made comment to Bev about the sighting, yet almost immediately gave it some credibility, by realising that I was only stood outside looking at the sky due to the current Covid-19 restrictions. Every other year I would have been doing anything but, standing in the garden on May 31st! Is the occurrence of Sand Martin, in May, that unusual or is the record a direct consequence of being forced to watch from the garden? Number 65, and a most unexpected addition to the lockdown garden list!
Bev and I should now be on Kefalonia, spending time with four extraordinary friends. It would be our first time on this magnificent island during the Spring. We're not, which is painfully obvious, so I spent a while flicking through some archive photos, just as a way of pissing myself off even further.
Having so many happy memories of time spent, around the Eastern Mediterranean, I'm gutted that we're unable to do so. In the bigger picture, however, politics remains centre stage. The fall-out from the George Floyd murder, in the USA, has resonated around the cyber world. Only when you think that the "tabloid scandal rags" can't sink any lower do they come out with social distancing criticism of those involved in protest against this racially motivated situation. The world's in melt down - as Tears for Fears once sang - It's a Mad World!
Dyl, I was always a birder of sorts, but only got my eye in properly after some encouragement from Gavin H. That was mid 80's, and with a life list of 98 absolute certainties* I got going again at the end of May 1984. List for June 3rd included Tree Sparrow, Cuckoo, Ruddy Duck and a Black Tern.ReplyDelete
BT apart, I'd be hard pressed to get any of the others now.
That apart. These are unsettling times. Surreal almost. I was out briefly yesterday and today, and it's as if the lockdown never happened. Subsequent 'second wave' virus results will reveal the effectiveness of the previous ten weeks, and unless this is just an experiment in checking out the system with us used as guinea pigs, it may not be good either way.
Number one. The hospitals get jammed with new cases.
Number two. Hardly anything happens and millions will now wonder why their jobs and businesses were destroyed.
Knowns and unknowns?
Time will tell. Take care.
Amendment to my comment.ReplyDelete
Note the *
On that list of 98 species were: Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (1st woodpecker of any species I saw) Dartford Warbler, Nightjar, Water Rail, Slavonian Grebe, Manx Shearwater, Firecrest and Golden Oriole.
It seems all very weird, to me, when meeting modern anglers who have absolutely no interest in other aspects of natural history. I seem to remember a time on Wilstone when I called "Redshank" only to be corrected by your good self with the shout "No, it's a Greenshank!" I didn't have a problem with the error but recall how impressed a couple of other anglers were by this exchange.
It would seem that our generation were still "countrymen" and not the instant expert, technicians, who have taken angling into another dimension. I think Spring 2011 was the last time I saw a Tree Sparrow, as for Ruddy Duck? I haven't a clue. I still see Lesser Spots, occasionally when wandering around the woodland of East Kent and Cuckoos remain relatively numerous around the flatlands during the heady days of summer.
Thanks for the comments - Dyl