Apologies for the previous outpouring; this latest lockdown is really starting to get to me, just as to everyone else, I guess? The inability to chase dreams is something which has really brought home how precious time is. That bloody clock won't stop ticking just because I can't go to the Royal Military Canal to catch another pike. It won't stop, either, because "the gang of six" are unable to meet up on Kefalonia again, any time soon. No! "Time and tide wait for no man" This phrase resonates more now, than ever before, purely because I'm well passed the two thirds mark in my own adventure. Opportunities lost can't be refunded, they're gone and that's your lot.
It is, therefore, no big surprise that I really enjoyed my session out on the flatlands on Friday. Only one pike, around 7 lbs, but that fish ensured I hadn't blanked and spent the majority of my time looking at the birdlife on display. The weather was almost spring-like and there was a definite movement of Common Buzzards over the marsh, a kettle of eight birds being the peak count but odd birds were on show for the majority of the period between 10.00 - 13.00 hrs. Skylarks were in fine voice, one individual having a superb, piping, Whimbrel impression as part of its' repertoire. Tufted Duck, Gadwall and Mallard were added to my "local" angling list. It was a joy to spend time outdoors, further enhanced by the sun beaming down from a lightly clouded sky.
I spent a while out in the garden, last night, hoping to hear something? Oystercatcher was on my radar and it is possible that I did catch a snippet of a distant call, but to be fair, I didn't really hear anything? A flock of thrushes seen earlier were gone before I could rush out into the garden. Fieldfares would be my guess, but again, I can't be 100% sure. Knowing what the forecast is predicting, I was out in the garden just after 08.00 hrs this morning, feeling sure that there would be some cold weather movement as a precursor to the arrival of Storm Darcy with accompanying snow being predicted for this part of Kent. If I ignore Wood Pigeons, and I easily can, the only sighting (BWKm0 - No. 42) worthy of note was that of two (Russian?) White-fronted Geese headed north, high, away to the west. If they hadn't been calling I'm not confident that I'd have clinched the id, using just my binoculars, and they'd have gone down as "Grey Geese sp."
|Cold weather movement? This was the last Waxwing I pointed the long lens at - Feb 2017|
I do have several "patch" records but only one previous "garden" sighting of these stunning birds.
Storm Darcy - do your worse!
Around the garden feeders Goldfinches continue to visit, in good numbers, and provide a welcome splash of colour during the grey days. A couple of Chaffinches have dropped in recently but the two Greenfinches haven't been recorded during the past week. Six Blackbirds are now present along the Vine Close gardens, one of the males in fine voice, both dawn and dusk. Over at the farm compound, a Song Thrush is proclaiming breeding rites whilst a Wren blasted out a series of, high volume, announcements of territorial intent. Spring is just around the corner - surely? All I have to do is make it through next week unscathed. Once again Fujifilm SIS find the orderbooks bulging and, as a result, we are being offered ridiculous amounts of overtime in order to meet this demand. It seems silly to turn down the offer when there's nothing much else I could be doing. Every extra penny goes straight into the savings account, pending the time when Kefalonia becomes a realistic holiday option again. With the BBC News reporting that all over-50's will have received their jab by May - I must stay positive and make the most of what's available locally.