Saturday 24th May.
Onto the euro nonsense in a bit. First, there's a bird to be seen. A first summer female Red-Footed Falcon at Ingleby, between Willington and Swarkestone in South Derbyshire.
I know Willington and Swarkestone well, just not this bit in between. A bit of an eye opener really, in terms of the view of Swarkestone Quarry you can get from the path by the Trent (looks promising), and the caves that you walk past en route to the Falcon field.
Pity that by the time I got there, everyone had gone! So it took a bit of searching before the bird flew over the hedge, then flew over low and landed into the maize field. An absolute stunner of a bird.
Unfortunately I didn't have much time for photography, I was in a bit of a rush to visit family in the north east. Here is a photo of the bird however, many thanks to Nick Sismey for allowing me to use it.
On the walk back to the car in layby east of Ingleby, at 10:50 a very intruiging raptor appeared over one of the farms, then flew up high towards Swarkestone. A very pale Buzzard underneath with a long tail, a black trailing edge to the underside of the wings, and at no point did it's wings go into a v shape.
The one thing that is stopping me from claiming Honey Buzzard is I don't recall the black bars on the underside of the tail. So at the moment, I'm pretty sure it was a Honey Buzzard, but not quite confident enough to submit to a recorder. An interesting bird nonetheless. I wish someone else was with me at the time.
So anyway, back to Eurovision shenanigans. Russia won. I didn't think it was any good, mind you, when are any of them? Paddy Power was on the money though, the Irish bookie made it the favourite. On the positive side, it will keep the Russians happy and will continue to supply us all with gas for the next year.
That period of nonsense has now come to an end for another year. Time to think of something else. I know just the thing. I'm glad Paul Merton mentioned this on Have I Got News For You the other night. I've seen this recently as well, and reacted with just as much bewilderment.
And why not!