Saturday's dreadful weather ensured the post I'd planned will have to wait until a change in conditions allow me to take the camera (with macro lenses) out onto the farm, thus obtaining the images required to illustrate what lockdown does to a man?
|Day break out on the flatlands|
I did get out with the rods on Sunday morning, landing a couple of lovely conditioned pike for my troubles. It was a spectacular morning and the first time I'd seen the sun in over a week. Especially nice to bump into Neil Davies who was undertaking his monthly WeBS count. He had seen relatively little on his wanderings but still managed to drop into the conversation news of an adult White-tailed Sea Eagle that had spent a couple of days in the vicinity around the turn of the year. My contribution was meagre fare, by comparison, but included an owl sp. that had flown over the drain as I was setting up and the roost site of a Cattle Egret that I discovered on another stretch of the "Black Dyke" just before New Year. We wished each other luck as he departed to continued on his, well trodden, route back towards home. I packed up, bumping a third fish which grabbed a dead bait on the retrieve, well pleased to have been able to spend time outdoors in such magnificent surroundings and doing so within the "stay local" guidelines. I wonder how many (Kent) birders pushed these boundaries and travelled to Orlestone Forest for the White-throated Sparrow? All I can say on the subject is that I'm very glad I wasn't faced by this situation in 1999 because I know that my actions would have been a lot different from those today - enough said! Oh, the beauty of getting old?
Back home, just after mid-day, there was little else to do but finish putting together the table and chairs, Bev had purchased for the conservatory, grab a San Miguel and listen to the football commentaries on Radio 5 Live, whilst sitting at the laptop in the study. Activity was constant around the garden feeding station and it was nice to spot the female Greenfinch, once again, with the Goldfinch flock coming to the sunflower hearts. Beyond the boundary, using my trusty Kowa TSN 823, I managed to pick out a pair of Stock Doves feeding on the remnants of the stubble a couple of hundred metres away. BWKm0 - No. - 24! I've not seen a hedgehog since the night of the 13th and the bowl has remained untouched for the past couple of nights, so not even a rat wants to take a chance. The Webley Mk III has been incredibly effective in deterring these unwanted visitors - funny that! Back on earlies, this morning, I was home just before 14.00 hrs and got the feeders topped up before grabbing some grub and settling down in the study. I was looking at some CNN/MSNBC Youtube offerings, pertaining to the lunacy involved in the Trump/Biden transition, when the gulls, Wood Pigeons and Starlings all went nuts. Grabbing my binoculars, I was in the garden within seconds, yet could spot nothing (which must have been an overflying raptor ?) that had caused this reaction. I completely screwed up the id of a distant group of thrushes, Redwings at a guess, purely because of the angle of the sun. This is the third time I've failed to add the species to the latest manifestation of my BWKm0 list. due to light conditions and being very rusty in the art of bird id - confidence is not what it once was! Still, all was not lost, as I'm in the garden, scanning the skies, picking up a very distant Mistle Thrush over by the farm compound - No. - 25. That'll do, says I. My laptop has now decided to stop recognising my Canon cameras, thus I'm unable to download any images. Fortunately there are guys within the FSIS IT dept who will be able to assist with rectifying this situation. Blogging is providing me with an incredible opportunity to keep active, within a mental capacity, during a period which the "stay safe" advice might just be altered to "stay sane" ?