The plan for yesterday was to hold out from going out birding, watching on the Cricket World Cup quarter final between England and Sri Lanka, until it got to a stage where it looked like England couldn't win. In the end, with hindsight, I probably could've been out birding all day!
Never mind. Actually Sri Lanka did bowl well and didn't give anything away. Also not being bothered with watching the Wales v England footy, over to Uttoxeter Quarry.
In addition to birding, the quarry is actually a good place for Hares. Must've been at least half a dozen around this time.
As for birds, the main highlight was a Swallow in amongst the Sand Martins feeding on the water's surface. Also 34 Goosander, 5 Wigeon, 2 Shoveler, 4 Curlew, 1 Green Sand, 1 Snipe, 1 Dunlin.
Then onto today. A first visit to the Weaver Hills this year was made, with Wheatear in mind. Didn't manage any Wheatears, and apart from Skylarks not a lot at all. A quick look along the River Churnet at Oakamoor produced a dashing dapper Dipper flying along the river, and 2 Grey Wagtails.
Whilst I was in Oakamoor, news came on the pager of a Black Redstart at Berry Hill fields in Stoke. You know, I'm tempted to give that a try.
I haven't been twitching everything in Staffs these days, especially with petrol at £1.30 a litre. I suppose after the Chancellor's Budgie in the week, it could've been going higher, but it probably will anyway because of the price of oil.
But I was lucky enough to refind a Black Redstart on Berry Hill last spring, and I quite fancied the challenge of doing it again. And if there was no sign, at least there would be some Wheatears to look at.
One of the 15 Wheatears that I managed to see around the oss paddocks. I did wonder if the Black Redstart would be around the "white door" paddock, the scene of last year's little triumph. A few birders were around there and had not seen it.
I was just about giving up and going home, when walking back to the car I managed to see this little beauty:
I can't believe it, the Black Redstart giving crippling views, in the same paddock where all the Wheatears were earlier. Brilliant stuff.
That's about it for now, I'm off for a knees up............