I was going to call this post 'No Bunting like Snow Bunting', but with so much intellectual copyright theft going on on-line (see this post by John Hague for the ultimate, no-nonsense way of dealing with it) I thought I'd better Google it first. Sure enough, there it was, in the title of a post by a fellow pun-loving blogger (see what I did there?), dated as recently as 9th February 2013. A fortnight earlier and I could have claimed it as my own. Damn you, the internet, it's not like there aren't any original ideas left, it's just that you've made it a lot harder to have them first.
With a triplist including Velvet Scoter, Long-tailed Duck, Scaup, Eider, Black-throated Diver, Great Northern Diver, Slavonian Grebe and Snow Bunting you might think I spent this weekend in the Highlands on the way back from twitching a Pine Grosbeak on Shetland. In fact I didn't, and all these exotics were much closer to home in either in Portland Harbour or the Fleet Lagoon.
Not that I wouldn't mind a crack at the Grosbeak, and with a week's leave just beginning it's theoretically possible. But a variety of circumstances, including my worst back problem yet, are conspiring to make it highly unlikely. I had the ailing spine looked at today. Disappointingly, driving 1200 miles, sleeping in cars and on ferry floors, and carting around a telescope, tripod and camera were not among the recommended remedies for acute intercostal muscle strain and its associated aches and pains. So, my appetite for hospitals and divorce being what it is, the Pine Grosbeak may remain off limits, and I still await my first British tick of 2013.
The list of local goodies above were all too far away to photograph unfortunately, with one notable exception - the Snow Bunting, which first arrived at Ferrybridge before Christmas, and remains as approachable now as it was then.
1 month ago