Friday, 17 February 2012

Return of the Mike

It seems an age since I last reported on what Earth vibrating wonderments are happening in my world, and in fact it has been a while. Things that have changed since last I typed.

Male Blackie, with almost bare larder (Amwell NR)

1, My flu left
2, My Sinus unblocked
3, My cough relented to what you would hear a polite lady do when trying to stop her husband saying something he shouldn't
4, I broke the camera, and Bins out of storage
5, It got cold

So dealing with these things in order.

Items 1 - 3, thank you all for the outpouring of concern for my ill health, and the parties and jubilations that have occured since to celebrate my return to fine fettle. You know who you are (And believe me there's not many of you).

4, It was a joy to charge up my batteries, get a fresh memory card, clean my lenses and head out into the world.

Pretty in Pink (Amwell NR)

I started at Hainault Forest on Feb 1st, following on from an appointment at the hospital, which I will return to later. Hainault was rubbish. Not really sure why I went there as I knew there wouldn't be much about. Great Spotted Woodpecker and Goldcrest were about as good as it got, and photography wise a bit of a waste of time, but to be honest my mind wasn't really on the job (due to the hospital thing) so I packed up, grabbed me Dad and took him for a pint (or 4).

Hainault if anything was a tester to see if I felt ok, and when I was confident I did feel ok I followed it up with a trip to Amwell NR, Herts on 4th Feb. As it had been cold and there was plenty of ice about I was hoping to see a Bittern. I'd researched where best to go and pointed my lens in that general direction, now although I didn't see the Bittern, I did see a load of other birds, and importantly got a few decent shots. There were some notable birds in there for me with a good set of thrushes, with Mistle, Song, Blackbird, Redwing and Fieldfare all showing nicely. Followed by a good set of tits (tee hee) Blue, Great, Coal, Long Tailed and Marsh (I'm calling Marsh over Willow, didn't get a great look, but more where I would expect to see a Marsh Tit). Water bird wise, there were plenty of Gadwall, Mallard, Pochard, Wigeon, and Teal etc, but the best of the day were a couple of Goldeneye. Quite distant, but displaying and looking beautiful. Siskins, Bullfinches, Treecreeper and Redpoll, Jay, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Buzzard plus many, many more made it a really good (if very cold (item 5)) day out.

Cold Winter Morning Sun

I packed up and headed home in time for the kick off of the Six Nations Rugby, and after the rugby looked out of the window as the snow began to fall. Thinking to myself "That's beautiful", "Then thinking "Hold on a Mo, I'm going out for dinner tonight!", then adding "How the Bloody Hell am I getting home tomorrow!!", then relaxed, opened another beer and continued to watch the snow... Beautiful.

Oh and that Hospital appointment that shook me up a little? Nothing bad, it was my wife's first scan... Baby due August 14th, I'm going to be a Daddy again!!