Tuesday, 2 May 2017


I'm going to go out on a limb here and say it, Bank Holidays should be banned. As a trucker, the Friday before the holiday just means chaos on the road. People who rarely venture out onto the motorway hit the motorway in one of two ways.
Timid-usually spotted on slip roads onto the motorways or the exits from services. They considerately join at 40mph oblivious to the chaos behind them. Sat in middle lane 60mph, no faster and reaction times of a slug.
Kamikaze- Easily spotted, he's the twat filling your mirrors with either a BMW or Mercedes, Sat-Nav tells them they're an hour away from their holiday cottage in Devon but the twat is going to be there in 45 minutes regardless what's in their way.
Fridays tally was 2 hours stuck between a junction (Kamikaze crash into barriers) and a twat who thought it would be sensible to pull out of the hard shoulder with no attempt to build up speed nor indicate, zero mph into live traffic and a dubious smell from my cab later, I really needed to be birding this weekend even if it rained.
You can't really visit reserves neither because everyone else is, more people than birds ain't my cup of tea. So I visited my Quarry Walk on Saturday and came away with nowt photos wise, but got Cetti's Warbler, Little Grebe, 5 Hobbies, 3 Cuckoo, a solitary Lesser Whitethroat, several Common Whitethroats, Loads of Sandmartins but sadly no decent mound on the quarry this year, simply because of demand than malice. Had a chat with Martin who was also on the site, oh and NO REED WARBLERS ON THE BOARDWALK for the first time (others scattered elsewhere on site) in 6 years, great management. Between Martin and myself we were wondering if the site was being 'soften' up for other use but it's definitely a Natural England site so wonder if it's possible to do so.
A search for the Holy Crail would be easier than getting a response from these muppets, how on earth do conservationists and NGO's deal with this lot on a regular basis.
The next day I went down to Quarry Walk  again, more in hope than anything else.
But the first bird I see of interest on the boardwalk was....
Two Wheatears. Add a bit of 'sods' law and you can guess where exactly they were

Yep, in the butchered area busy feeding amongst the tree stumps.
The occasional dog walker flushed the birds onto fence posts

And one individual even joined me on the actual boardwalk, sadly looking directly into the sun, so the exposure is a bit dodgy
Takes me to a personal tally of ten wheatears on passage. Though I really wanted a Whinchat but keep failing.
I took a wander down the railway line towards Summer Leys. I ventured out onto some  very dubious ground, only on the way back did I spot the old 'quicksand' sign. It's not quite on the edges but is further out. The reason being, some Little Ringed Plovers were flitting about, failed on flight shot
And too far away on suspect soil for decent portraits plus the ground was warming up now giving off a heat haze
A distant Peregrine was an added bonus and going by local reports was overshooting the nearby Summer Leys.
And lastly a poor record shot of a rowdy Yellow Wagtail. Only posting it because it's behaviour of shepherding away the other Yellow Wagtail in the same manner my partner did to me for not stripping the old wallpaper and taking her to the local DIY chain....I hate Bank Holidays, ban them now.


  1. I sympathise, fully, Doug! As someone who has been retired for a good few years, I'm able to enjoy the luxury of going out mid-week when fewer people are around, and concentrating on getting jobs done at home on weekends and bank holidays.

    That's a great set of images. A pity about the recently severed stumps and the Wheatear, but the others are delightful. You did well with the LRP - particularly the flight shot. I love the Peregrin shot too.

    With my best wishes - - - Richard

  2. Cheers Richard,
    I miss my 4 days on and 4 days off shift too. Much better for relaxing and getting out and about