The news of the first Wheatears and Little Ringed Plovers arriving in the country is always exciting. Time to find one or two of my own, or that was the plan anyway.
Saturday 13th March.
Well it didn't happen today, not at Uttoxeter Quarry. But there was 6 Curlew, 6 Oystercatcher, 1 Green Sandpiper, 8 Snipe and 27 Goosander. The two female Scaup also remained on JCB south lake in Rocester.
The next idea was to head over to Tittesworth Reservoir to have a look at the Kittiwake, found in the morning. On the way, driving through Swallow Moss I bumped into the Blurred Birder. Martyn had already been to Tittesworth and no sign of the Kittiwake.
So I had a think as to where else we could go, in order to add some year ticks to Martyn's list. As Dipper wasn't on there, I suggested Ecton Bridge in the Manifold Valley, not far at all from Swallow Moss.
I have seen Dipper here a few years ago but never really tried since. No sign today though. But it did remind me how spectacularly beautiful the Manifold Valley is, I must explore it further soon.
We didn't have much success checking a few other spots on the moors. On parting company and a short drive around the moors, I could feel a rather large headache coming on. I don't suffer from headaches that often, but I just wanted to get home at this point, so didn't check Tittesworth in the end. And of course, typically, it turned out that the Kittiwake had returned during the afternoon.
Never mind, but I must admit that I were doing a serious year list, I would be kicking myself at this point.
Sunday 14th March.
Headache gone after a good night's sleep. And as for birding locally, very little change to Saturday. No spring migrants, the only difference being a Redshank at Uttoxeter Quarry. That's about as good as the weekend got for birding I'm afraid. I did take some pictures though.
But that's one quiet weekend out of the way, bring on the migrants!
You may have noticed, reader, that this blog has featured the Eurovision Song Contest in previous years? It's not going to happen this year because Pete Waterman has written this year's song, whatever it is.
That man ruined my childhood. Well, not really, but the amount of hours of his "Pap Music" in the late Eighties that was churned out and I had to endure, left me mentally scarred. Thank goodness the likes of Guns 'n Roses and Metallica were around at the time.
Instead of that, I'm very excited to find out who will win "The K Factor" (items of knitting) on Harry Hill's TV Burp. The contenders are:
Harry Hill Meerkat:
Bessie's dog blanket:
But my money is on Peter the Duck: