So, where do I begin. To start with I ain't gonna bore you with precise details on where I've been and every bird I've seen, too many cunts do that already and frankly, it's fucking pathetic. Who cares if I went to Cromford and spotted an Hawfinch, snared some Red Grouse on Beeley Moor, bagged 5 Waxwings at Kirk Hallam or year ticked an Iceland Gull at Hoveringham (they were all on the 7th January by the way!). There ya go, concise yet to the point! No waffling! Get it?!
The next day, Sunday 8th January, I joined Mikipedia and Lord Archer on a lovely excursion to Hampshire where we all collected a proper Dark eyed Junco. Nearly every blog I've read has droned on about this bird and the accompanying shit down south so I wont bother repeating what the other numpties have scribed apart from mentioning two or three highlights. After a rather piss poor audience with the worst McDonalds in England (Cadnam, Hants) we made our way to Weymouth where we jammed in on a Richards pipit, were sent into a cosmic fizzgog with the volume of Med Gulls on The Fleet and almost magically connected with a Hume's YBW; the latter was especially memorable due to this - Prior to reaching Weymouth, whilst sat staring at a chicklettes camel toe in THAT McDonalds, I received info from a young student prophet called Daniel Nostradamus Pointon. He informed us that that the HYBW would appear at c3pm. So it came as no surprise that whilst scouring the sallows near post 13 that at 2.58pm the characteristic call of the target bird announced it's arrival! Fucking legend! I ended that trip with my 2012 total on a rather shite 103.
Monday 9th January was punctuated by the news of a Spanish Sparrow loitering around some council houses in the very county I had exited less than 20hrs previously! Due to being the cool, calm collected kind of guy (and due to the fact it had apparently been shagging the arse of every lady Muck Sparrow for the last year or so) I decided to wait until the weekend (14th) and do it like a dude. Saturday cam quickly and our new team consisting of me, Mikipedia, Rich 'The Giant' Challands
...and Rich 'Baa Weeps craa naaa Weeps Ninibong' Collis (His middle name roughly translates from Yorkshire to English as ''Can you understand a word I'm saying'')....
Well, we spotted the Sparra, had another look at the Junky and (the highlight for me) buzzed some Dartford Wblrs in the New Forest!
A Cattle Egret near a church near some fields with cows in was also nice! This trip took my year-list to 111. Still wank compared to some of the other liars on that Bubo website!
The next day I once again dipped the Shrike on Beeley Moor (3rd time this year) but consolation came with a LINNET on the moors and a well known Tawny Owl checking me out near Pleasley.
The 18th Jan saw me fortuitously taking my obligatory lunch break in the car park of Rufford CP, where luckily some Lesser 'peckers had been showing well. Needless to say, whilst munching on my Ploughmans Sausage Roll I added LSW & Marsh Tit to the year list! Easy innit!
So, we've almost caught up. Have a slurp of ya wine & have a fag and we'll continue in a minute......
60 seconds later....
Ok, ya ready? Good.
Right then, the weekend just gone. Saturday 21st January witnessed us (me, Mikipedia & Archer) arriving in deepest darkest web-footed bastard county. N*rfolk! This county is my kryptonite. Ok, it gets some class birds and the scenery can blow ya mind but it's the bell-ends that I/we habitually see/meet/try to avoid that ruins this county for me! Personally I blame the silly monthly Birdwatching magazines for this, ya know, advocating that North coast as THE place to go birding! ''Grab ya mittens, stupid fucking hat, sco-pac and grandma and head to East Anglia - Bitterns, Bearded Tits, Marsh Harriers and rare American peeps await you!''
Anyhow, I digress....We eventually connected with a very distant LWFG (and some other geese that I had to add to the year-list) at Cuntley Marshes, got extremely fucked off by some cunts at some Great Broad site where we didn't see a Creosote coloured Duck and then at the Dead Marshes NR clapped eyes on that now infamous Sandpiper (that appeared to have a wanky leg). After creaming over some Snow Bunts at Salthouse..............
....we ended the day nonchalantly counting Hen Harriers coming into roost at Warham Greens.
This trip boosted my 2012 tally to 130 with still a shed load of easy bollox obvious in their absence!
Sunday morning (22nd January) caught me up on Beeley Moor, D*rbys, AGAIN, hoping to add a shrike to the list. An initial scour of the smallest Quarry in the world resulted in fuck all. In fact, up on them moors, not a creature was stirring, not even a grouse. I sacked it in and headed down the delightfully named 'Bent Lane' in search of Bramblings and perhaps daytime doggers but to no avail. I decided to do one and fuck off home for some toast but something told me to check the Quarry again. I tried to resist but the force was strong (and so was the fucking wind, Force 4 million I reckon). I ploughed the front end of the Vectra once again onto the verge and casually wandered back into the depths of the rocky hole. I lost my hat due to the wind! I had a lie down in some heather due to the wind. My lighter decided not to work due to the wind. But then it subsided, a brief moment of stillness enrobed the quarry and almost as if it had been waiting for that moment, the Shrike appeared, like a gleaming silver and white thing on top of a tree, I fiddled with my phone and rammed it against my binocular eyepiece. Three piss poor images kinda proved I'd seen it.
The wind then came steaming back in and as quickly as it had appeared, the Lanius vanished! It had taken me four attempts, well five if you count my two attempts on this day. I didn't see another birder during my visit which is always sweet.
My year list currently stand at 131 and somewhere on those dark, desolate, bleak moors, there's a sheep wearing my bestist woolly hat! Touché I suppose!