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Saturday, 9 March 2013

Urban Birding!

The weather today was atrocious to say the least. I crept out of bed and peeped out of the curtains. The BBC weather was indeed correct – it was raining and you could just tell it was set for the entire day. I crept back into bed and snoozed. I eventually decided to get up and spent most of the day sorting the prospective sale of my recently advertised Leica 8x32 BN Binoculars. When I first posted the advert in December '12, I didn't bother posting any pictures, which I should have done. This may be the reason why they have taken so long to sell! Through working in advertising for over twenty years, you would think I would know that an item is more likely to sell with pictures! Today I took lots of pictures of the Leicas for insurance reasons (and to post to my advert etc) at different angles and with case, paperwork, box etc. I then spent ages trying to find out the best and safest way of posting. I have never had to post anything outside the UK before, so I needed to get it right with such an expensive item. I found out that the safest and cheapest way to transfer money is to transfer from one bank to the other and I needed an 'Iban Number' (this is a code for your account number and sort code) which is typed on the top of your bank statement, and a "Swiftbic". By the time I had sorted all this it was mid afternoon. Went to the post office in town and got my parcel weighed and quoted for Parcel Force "Global Priority", fully tracked, signed for and insured.

I then did a spot of 'urban birding'. Another birder kindly emailed me recently with directions and location of at least three Short-eared Owls that have been seen recently at a location not far from Asda in King's Lynn. I found to my amusement that the large area of rough ground and fields that the SEO's have been seen from, is in fact the fields which are just round the corner from my house!!! I didn't feel comfortable birding here though, being female and with bins. I have visited this area before and although it is a nice walk along a tarmacked cycle path with river, rough ground, mature trees and patches of reed beds, there are far too many dodgy looking people with monster dogs on chains walking round here! I kept my bins zipped inside my coat and only got them out when no one was around – that's not relaxed, enjoyable birding in my eyes! I didn't see any Short-eared Owls, but did have one barn owl sitting on a post, two reed buntings, three pheasants sitting on elders, one hedgesparrow singing next to the path, one robin, two blackbirds, two carrion crows, one great spotted woodpecker, two moorhens, one coot, pair of mallard and three Muntjac Deer. This area is also is a stronghold for Adders and Grass Snakes – I nearly cycled over an adder here last year, when looking for a neighbour's missing dog. The rain had now turned to sleet and it was freezing cold. The sleet then turned to snow.

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