Down Down Down

I have been a bit down for the last few weeks with little inclination to get out birding. Maybe the effects of all the medical crap over the past few months has finally caught up with me. However last Thursday I decided that I would get up early on Friday morning and head for Slimbridge for the Spotted Crake. I woke well before the alarm (about five) and managed to convince myself that it would have gone overnight and so decided to stay in bed. I didn’t wake again until eleven (yes really) and a quick look on Twitter showed that I had made the wrong decision. With people coming to stay for the weekend I had no chance of going until Monday so spent the whole weekend seeing how well it was showing. So on Monday morning I was up early and arrived at Slimbridge for opening time. Arriving at the hide I was informed that it hadn’t yet been seen. And it wasn’t seen again having done a bunk on Sunday night. Normally I wouldn’t have been that bothered but this time I was seriously pissed off and wasn’t far off chucking my binoculars and notebook into the pond. I couldn’t even work up the enthusiasm to check out any of the other birds on site. Not even Curlew Sand, Little Stint, Spoonbill and Marsh Harrier tempted me. So onto today when I forced myself to head up to Folly Farm from where I walked up to the Ridgeway and along to Liddington Hill. I have to say I enjoyed it and it was good to push myself a bit. On the bird front I managed twenty-one species with the highlights being Stonechat, Yellow Wagtail and Raven. At least six Buzzards, two Red Kites and three House Martins were the best of the rest. I have committed to going on the WOS trip to Portland on Sunday so hopefully things are on the up again.


10 responses to “Down Down Down

  1. Hope things continue to improve for you.
    Best wishes Felicity.

  2. Sorry things are a struggle. Always enjoy your posts and if it’s any consolation I put off going for the crake until Monday too – disappointing!

  3. Hi Malc
    Want some company on Sunday down to Portland? I was thinking of going too.

  4. Richard Williams

    Hi Malcolm
    Thanks for being brave enough to share this when we normally put the mask on for “social media”. Glad you got up to Liddington yesterday – I always find it a restorative place and it just goes to show it’s not always the rarer species that give the buzz. At South Leaze farm this evening I simply stopped on the bike to enjoy for a few minutes a Dunnock calling from the top of a bush just after I marvelled at 75 Swallows flying south on their incredible journey.

    I’ve been a bit down with my own birding abilities recently: the usual stuff (for me) of lacking the audio (auditory?) skills, hearing birds call across the tracks at Swindon station and not knowing what they are when there are guys I know who would ID them straightaway.

    So we’ll make a right pair on Sunday!! Hopefully we shall cheer each other up and see some good birds down there: the Wryneck and Rosy Starling would be much appreciated by me, even though it looks like an overgrown sparrow! I’m looking forward to it.

    See you then (bright and) early


    • I never used to be particularly open but the old dog seems to be learning new tricks.
      Don’t worry about suffering from a lack of audio skills as it is my achilles heel as well.
      Should be a good day out on Sunday.

  5. Will be good to see you on Sunday Malcolm

  6. Richard Williams

    Hi Steve
    As you can see I’m going with Malcolm. If you can be at his house for 6.00 AM there’s a spare seat in my car for you. It would be great if you can come with us. Sorry to come via this medium but I only had your old Swindon Birds email address.

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