This weekend didn't involve going to Chipping Norton to see The Dove from Above. If I want to stand in a queue all day, I'd rather go to Ikea!
If there's a twitch that fills me with dread, it's looking round people's houses and gardens. But at least twitching the likes of Baltimore Oriole, Black-throated Thrush and American Robin didn't involve going into someone's house to look in their garden. That's just too weird. Although the mid-morning perch in a tree sounds encouraging. So maybe if it stays around for another week....
Anyway, to this weekend. You know when things are running out of steam a bit? Running out of new things to see locally for a year list? It's getting a bit like that now, and still some time away before Sand Martins, Little Ringed Plovers, Wheatears and Chiffchaffs start arriving.
Brookleys Lake yesterday was pretty quiet, although a drake Goldeneye and 3 Goosander were there but very little else. Andy's brief Med Gull at Uttoxeter Quarry had long since gone, but there were two welcome patch year ticks here, in the form of Shoveler and Stock Dove. It also looks like the wild geese have moved on, plus a drop in Goosander numbers.
And then to Blithfield. 17 Goosander in Tad Bay, then another gull roost attempt didn't pick anything out of the ordinary. In fact, a lot of gulls appeared to be stood in fields behind Ten Acre Bay, waiting for the fishing boats around the deep end to be moored back at the angling club.
As for today, thought I'd try my luck at Branston Gravel Pits for a change. Which wasn't too bad a selection. There was a Ruff, a Green Sandpiper, a Woodcock flushed from the footpath, 2 Redshank, 1 Little Egret, 7 Shelduck. Also a sighting of Stuart the Alrewas Birder as I got back to the car. And with that, and a quick check of Croxall which didn't amount to much, I went home.
But there was a surprise when driving through Uttoxeter. If you ever happen to be passing by, two new metal sculptures have been erected on a couple of roundabouts, near to Tescos and the railway station. They weren't even there yesterday! This is one:
Is it a Centaur or a Minotaur? Can't remember now. Whatever it is, it looks like it's playing air guitar! But better still:
You can't beat a bit of bully! And if you're thinking, is it bull or a cow? Looking at the other end, it's definitely a bull. He's a big lad!