Lade - mild, dry and sunny sw 3 - The past few days have been spent trudging around the local patch into the teeth of gale force winds and drizzle with, unsurprisingly, nothing new on offer apart from an increase in Teal numbers to over 300. However, today the wind slackened and the sun broke cover putting an altogether contrasting outlook on yesterdays grey world; and with the winter solstice now passed every day brings slowly lengthening daylight hours.
The poor weather at least allows time indoors to catch up on those end-of-year jobs, such as collating bird records to submit to the county recorder. Species wise we`re slightly down this year on 209, but its still been an interesting, and at times spectacular, birding year one way and another, of which I shall endeavour to post a summary over the coming week.
RSPB - We called in at the bird reserve this morning to show our 5 year old grandson his first Long-eared Owl, which was posing nicely in the warm sunshine in its usual position at the back of the discovery pond. He also picked out and identified a couple of Great White Egrets at Boulderwall and New Diggings, but after the owl spectacle I just couldn`t get him interested in a 1st winter Caspian Gull on Burrowes...
The weather remained fair for most of the day, but by dusk the wind started to pick up as Storm Eva approached the British Isles. While the worst of the wind and rain are forecast to clobber the long-suffering north-west the next couple of days could also be a bit lively down here too.