Saturday, 17 September 2011
My new life
Well I've had a fortnight of it now, full time education that is. It has been a right slog and obviously my birding has suffered. I've managed to visit Canons for at least a couple of hours almost daily but have been struggling to keep cfbwbirds up to date and have fallen behind in maintaining the patch database and my personal logbook. It's all been for very little, too. Most of the time spent at college has been 'get to know your neighbour', 'what do you already know about the subject?' and 'go and create a monster PowerPoint presentation that we may or may not ask you to present, but you'd better do it because if you don't, and we do happen to check, you're in for it'.
There are some right oddball characters at college, which I like because it makes me feel comparatively normal. I have also had a good laugh at this, found in the lavatories. But, quite honestly, I'd rather be on Scilly.
Scilly apart, a Pallid Harrier in Essex was highly tempting. Ian had to go to a football match and Phil couldn't make it. I really wasn't in the mood for phoning around other birders desperately trying to find someone whom I could persuade to make the journey, so I asked dad if he could take me. Just after he picked me up, I realised it wasn't where I stupidly thought it was (near Tilbury), it was near Clacton-on-Sea!!! An hour there now two and a half, add the return and that's five hours. Understandably he didn't want to go that far in the afternoon and it drained my enthusiasm for the idea, too, so I suggested Queen Mother Reservoir instead.
So, after today with all these lovely rarities around the splurge in the attached phone-scoped piece of crap is what I have to show for this autumn day - it is a Manx Shearwater at Queen Mother Reservoir. Thousands upon thousands of House Martins and Swallows moved through Canons today, most of the count courtesy of Roy. Canons is due a half decent (twitchable) bird, and I'm due a British tick. Tomorrow?