Thursday 29 August 2013

Home Alone

I miss them, of course, like the deserts miss the rain. That's the down side of the rest of the family spending the final week of the school holidays camping in Cornwall. I suppose there is an up-side though.
Juvenile Hobby, Morden Bog
Juvenile Hobby, Morden Bog

This bird ignored the warnings of its parents as I walked past. I know how they feel.
First, I get to avoid the scurvid privations of life under canvas. My views on camping are sufficiently rabid that a man from the BBC e-mailed the other night to ask if I would appear on a radio show to put the case 'against' it, presumably in the hope of provoking a heated debate with some tent enthusiasts. Perhaps I should tone it down.
This stunted pine at Morden Bog attracted (from left) Stonechat, Whinchat and Whitethroat
Whinchat, Morden Bog
Willow Warbler, Morden Bog
Second, I get to indulge the simple pleasures of a bachelorhood lost. Like leaving a tidy house in the morning and coming home to find it still tidy. I know, it's a wild life I lead. And, as my Scottish friend Ken so neatly put it, 'Ye get to set roond in yer pants, watching the fitba and scratching yer baw-bag'. Precisely, Ken. Spurs are currently 2-0 up, in case you're wondering.

A recently fledged Spotted Flycatcher, Morden Bog

Grayling were on the wing at Morden Bog
Crossbill, Morden Bog
Third, I get to go out birding dawn 'til dusk, or at least I did before I had to go back to work on Tuesday. The weekend was free though. Sunday was just one of those days. I arrived at nearby Morden Bog just after dawn, waking up the Woodlarks, Whitethroats, Willow Warblers and Whinchats before eventually stumbling across a mixed flock of Redstarts and Spotted Flycatchers.
The light was poor but I hid behind a trunk and used it to steady the lens in the absence of a tripod
 Several Spotted Flycathcers were moving around in a vocal group...
...but birds in a variety of plumages often returned to this fence line
Then the weather in Purbeck took a turn for the worse so I headed west for the brighter climes of Portland, to twitch my first Dorset Icterine Warbler (that'll get it's own post when I get round to it), found by Brett who was rattling off 8 frames per second of it as I arrived. After a long wander round the Bill I ended the day at Ferrybridge with waders, terns and the setting sun. Dusk, naturally, was spent in the Radipole car park with the gulls, and, shamefully, one of their distant cousins who had fallen victim to Colonel Sanders. Well, when in Rome...
Spotted Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher
And , yes, you guessed it, Spotted Flycatcher
That's probably enough up-side. I do want them to come back, after all.

P.S. don't forget, just 2 days left to vote in this week's poll - see top right, and here for a long-winded explanation. Sorry about that, got a bit carried away. Home alone, see. No one to talk to.

P.P.S. make that 3-0 Spurs.

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