An Early Spring

What with my earliest singing blackcap on the 28th of last month; blackbirds yesterday; bees and red admirals in abundance at the end of February, including one that found its way into the house in my washing basket! With windows open to cool my room the last couple of weeks. With the prospect that this will be one of the warmest UK winters.

With all that I went to what I’m calling Dowlais to try to beat my record for first arriving wheatear, which stands at the 21st. This is the Severn Estuary coast south of Clevedon and it was chilly and misty and rather more seasonal than of late. My harbinger of Spring didn’t show but skylarks and chaffinches were in song, which seemed a touch early (but not compared with 2010!)

It’s been a few weeks of not much birding since the yellow-browed warbler at Chew, as I’ve beavered on getting The Honeyeaters’ Tree to print. Job done there so I’ve toyed with the idea of putting myself back in the Machine to rescue my finances.

Therein lies the rub: they are still too robust to get a Jobseekers Allowance. I should have spent that £16,000 on drugs and guns instead of investing it. That just goes to show that the government is only interested in getting consumers back to spending rather than putting people in to work. Anyway I can think of better ways of investing my time than the rat race.

Where was I? Oh yes, recent birding: one stonechat has reappeared at Portbury Wharf; the black redstart is still hanging round by Portishead Pier; a male goosander dropped in for a day at the Marina; nine magpies sat on the roof of Gibb Towers. And I swear a female white wagtail has been wintering on Portishead High Street. She’s a uniform pale grey from forehead to rump; not even a juvenile should look like that later than the autumn. There are no references to the phenomenon on the Web and I wonder if such birds are simply overlooked.

Roll on migration anyway and let’s get the year list going.

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