Cock mad

Felt quietly optimistic when I finally rolled out of bed this morning ready to start a new day’s birding. The forecast day of westerly shite went elsewhere, so we had a reasonable day of sunshiney periods, and every field around the house was hooching with thrushes. More Redwings and Fieldfare today than yesterday (though god knows how many, and I wasn’t going to attempt a count as I was far too busy looking for Black-throated Thrush), still dozens of Blackbirds, and a new flavour in the form of Song Thrushes – 5 in total around the patch.

Went down the isle to do the swan count and check out one other place that showed some promise yesterday – just a Chiffchaff and 2 Woodcock. They were the vanguard for an afternoon of Woodcock madness, as I kept flushing the damn things all around the patch. There was more cock there than on Hampstead Heath on a busy Friday night. It was obscene. I’ve only seen 2 Woodcock on the patch in 5 years, so to find 11 this afternoon was bizarre. Where was my trusty shotgun when I needed it? I could have been sitting down this evening to Woodcock on toast instead of chicken noodles.

Other semi-notables were a Robin and another Chiffchaff, but I felt a little hard done by until I caught a glimpse of black and white in flight in Roadside’s yard. And almost 5 years to the day since I found my first Great Grey Shrike up here, I found my second. They’re not accorded scarce status up here, but really they should be. You don’t see that many of them.

No joy yesterday or today looking for the Hume’s. I think it’s really gone this time.

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