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Thursday 13 October 2022

Autumn Birding Holiday!

My current two week October holiday (from 8th October) is full of westerly winds and nothing more sadly! Had I booked Shetland this Autumn, I would have been there for their spectacular week beginning 1st October for three weeks, but decided I couldn't afford to go again this year. MISTAKE! I would have 'ticked' far more new birds in my first week on Shetland than I did on my entire three weeks (+ fourth week due to fractured hand/accident) there last Autumn!!! Heartbreaking to say the least. New birds for me would have been Myrtle Warbler, White's Thrush (always wanted to see one of these), Siberian Thrush, Swainson's Thrush, Lanceolated Warbler, Pechora Pipit and of course the Least Bittern (poor thing). 😭😭😭 Every day at work in my lunch break of that week was a "NOOOOOOO" when I looked at the RBA website!

I don't want to jinx my current success, but dieting (again) and lost 9.5lbs in the last two weeks – I won't be talking about this regularly, as its boring to the majority if not all of my readers, but I will be shouting to the roof tops when I reach my goal! The recently purchased Ninja Health Grill has been insanely useful for my diet, general health and bank balance. It doesn't take more than a couple of minutes to heat up and cooks everything so much quicker and food seems to taste better too – highly recommended!

On Sunday 9th October, I met up with Vivien and Ray at CleySpy and with the usual awesome assistance from staff Andrew and Phil, plus some input from me, Ray purchased a decent pair of binoculars for himself – a pair of Opticron Aurora BGA VHD 8x42 binoculars – these are fabulous optics and the close focussing is incredible, clear, bright, sharp and lightweight – the best binoculars in this price range in my opinion. After a cup of tea and a catch-up, we then headed over to Salthouse for an amble to Gramborough Hill. No birds of note really whatsoever, but did see Matthew S. who found the Rustic Bunting on the 2nd October at Horsey (I didn't go to see this very sadly...... long story), Ben and also John F. A Redshank flew from the pool and a Little Egret was feeding on the marsh and also Meadow Pipits were seen.

Went to Walsey Hills NOA briefly to show Vivien the new RAR display board by the centre. My father features on the board too, but he wouldn't have been overly impressed as being described as one of Richard's 'helpers'! Richard, Peter Jackson, Chris Knights, my father and mother were all close birding friends – there was no hierarchy.

Today (Wednesday) I spent the entire morning pruning shrubs and buddleia to fill the brown bin before it was collected. This afternoon I had an orthopedic appointment for my shoulder, which didn't really benefit me to be honest, as I'm not in any pain at all now, so all good.

Will Norfolk produce the goods this October, maybe, maybe not?! Maybe our Megas will arrive later, I have another week booked in mid November – fingers crossed!

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