Back to Work
Yes, after two enforced weeks off from work (our place operates a bit like a college), it was back to reality today. It is still bitter cold out. Work yes, but the birding (or should I say yearlisting) didn't stop. Lunchtime saw me at the top of Deepway Lane in Exminster village, where I trudged round the setaside fields for ages looking for the reported Woodlarks. Cor blimey, it was cold! The cold breeze seemed to cut through you like a knife. Luckily there were a few common birds providing yearticks for yours truly to take my mind off the weather. A pair of Stonechats were probably the most noteworthy, but a dash-past male Sparrowhawk was an exhilarating sight. After seeing only 3 Skylarks and NO Woodlarks I gave up and returned to the car. I coasted down Deepway Lane, but stopped at all the gateways to check the fields on the way down. At the second gate, I had just extricated myself from the old Nissan, when some familiar flutey calls made me look up. Yes, Woodlarks! They flew low over the lane (and my head) and dropped into the field adjacent to the gateway, where I was able to get a better look at them. Phew!
After work, I again made the most of the extending minutes of daylight and wandered briefly round Bystock reserve on the edge of Exmouth's northern fringe. Luckily, I saw a drake Common Teal there (a bird I didn't see within the parish boundary last year!) and another yeartick in the form of an explosively vocal Marsh Tit.
Today's yearticks were in order of appearance:
Stonechat, Reed Bunting, Linnet, Skylark, Sparrowhawk, Raven, Woodlark and Marsh Tit.