Sunday 3 February 2019

Winter on the wing

I'm not a huge fan of rugby, but I do love the Six Nations. I went to a grammar school where the games master was sadistically fond of the game, to the extent that when, after a rare football match enabled me to show a turn of pace and score a couple of decent goals, instead of letting me start a team, he said he wanted to see me run down the wing like that in rugby.
Golden Plover, Maiden Castle
I was able to photograph these birds from the car window, using the car as a hide
Momentarily inspired, at the next available training opportunity I gave it a shot, regaining consciousness a few minutes later with a mouth full of dirt and the fat kid who had pummelled my head into the turf laughing over me. Thus ended a glittering rugby career, forsaken thereafter for cross-country, known in our school as 'the smoker's sport'.
Fieldfare near Wareham
Part of a large flock of winter thrushes

A wonder then that I look forward to the Six Nations at all, though in truth I do so not just for the sport but for what it signifies about the time of year: when the championship starts, it's still winter, and by the time it comes to a climax, spring will be underway. Here I am uploading photos of wintering thrushes, and by the time it's over, I fully expect to be posting images of the first migrant Wheatears of the year to hit the Dorset coast.
Fieldfare is often accompanied by...
Back-to-back bouts of man flu have curtailed my outdoor exploits of late, so it was good to curl up in front of the TV yesterday and watch the games, but today I felt well enough to drive to a few local spots which I knew would provide some opportunities to do a bit of birding and photography from the warmth and comfort of the car.