Sunday 15 October 2017

The end?

By morning the wind was up again. I decided to check Happisburgh and if nothing was doing there then I'd call time on the whole thing and go home early.
As usual the churchyard was empty, there was no shelter there from the brisk west wind. However the band of trees by the cricket club was a little better with a busy tit flock that included several Goldcrests and I thought I had a brief glimpse of a Yellow-browed but couldn't be certain. I checking the willows at the pond just as bird flew in and perched up - Black Redstart (or Black Rodney to use its County Cork name).

The Black Rodney!
This put a little spring in my step but to be honest from that point onwards it never got any better. I completed a circuit around Happisburgh and later on walked the Nelson's Head track as far as the container but all I had were Blue Tits and Wrens. With no sign of any other birds around Norfolk (apart from a fly-over Serin at Hunstanton) - I called time on my week, returned to caravan, tidied up and headed back to Norwich.
The next a Great Grey Shrike was found at Happisburgh (well done Richard Moores) and a Barred Warbler at Trimingham - what did I do in my past life to deserve such luck??
I think every five years or so you get a dud autumn - and I was due one. The last one I had was in Cork in 2012. But this on this occasion, with precious little time off available, it felt like a waste of my holidays. Maybe its over-familiarity, or the over-crowded UK birding scene - or whatever but I'm not enjoying birding as much as I used to and really need to think about whether I change my attitude towards it or drop out altogether.

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