Sunday, 5 January 2014

Weather - or not?

Dunno about you, but I'm getting really pissed off with our lovely English weather! So far this year I have endured rainfall enough to fill up Coniston Water several times over, I've frozen to total numbness, I've been blown across to Budleigh Salterton without wings and I've been pelted with hailstones the size of marbles. And it's only January 5th! Today was the norm I'm afraid - rain, rain and more rain, which got harder as the day progressed. Now, during January I try to get out every day and see at least one Year Tick, ie, a species new to me for 2014. Not to be deterred I decided to kit up and head out into the deluge this afternoon, as I had family commitments this morning. I popped up to Bystock Reserve and got bleddy soaked! I added Moorhen to my 2014 Exmouth list (a pair on the main pond) and quickly followed this with Coal Tit. However, I was determined to get at least one 'proper' year tick, despite constantly having to wipe my bins clear and push the raindrops from my eyelashes! A female Pheasant ran across the boardwalk in front of me and tried to 'hide' behind a 6-inch piece of weed! Objective achieved! Another female and a cock Pheasant soon joined in the fun, and tried to remain camouflaged. No, it's no good mate, you're a cock Pheasant and so bleddy colourful you stand out like a jester in a group of nuns! I trudged on round the reserve, nearly leaving my wellies in 2 feet of gooey mud, but I failed to see anything else new for the year, but did feel rather embarrassed to disturb a Buzzard from it's sheltered tree and made it fly a short distance in the atrocious conditions. I then gave up and headed home........

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