|Attenborough in late afternoon light - I once saw a Hoopoe beneath one of them cooling towers.|
I then headed to Budby to search for the now highly elusive Great Grey Shrike. I met a few birders upon arrival & whilst I was on site & upon enquiring whether they'd seen it, I was unfortunately met with the same response "Sorry, we haven't been looking for it, we've been watching the Parrots". Anyhow, I avoided them & their watchers and scoured the western quarter of the common, alas to no avail. I was rewarded however with 4 performing Ravens (95), some Linnets (96) & a covey of Red-legged Partridges (97). The only other highlight of the day came as I was leaving. I had stopped to scan a fizzing flock of finches & buntings in a set-aside area (well, ya never know, Little Bunt & Pine Bunt are long over due in Notts) when I was approached by a bunch of randoms who excitedly asked "Are you watching the Parrot Cross Billed Finches?" to which I replied "I was but they've just been eaten by a marauding badger!". They soon fucked off.
Working Monday to Friday in a standard 8.30am - 5pm at this time of year obviously gives no time for birding so it was with great excitement that I awoke Saturday morning (25th Jan). My plan was to head to Cotham Tip in the east of the county to snare a white winger. As I approached Newark at around 8am, I realised I would be a tad bit early for the gulls so I diverted and hit Collingham, a few miles further north. The pits looked in excellent condition & with lots of standing flood pools and muddy fringes, it was no surprise that I picked up a snazzy Green Sandpiper (98).
|Collingham looking awesome, especially with no other birders about.|
|Langford, this pic doesn't do the site justice.|
|Cotham Tip & its 'white' Crebain wannabes|
Simple as that. I hung about a while and enjoyed this brute as it stood proud, ruling the pack. A bit of gen from another local had me wasting an hour scanning some nearby weedy fields where apparently up to three SEOs have been performing recently but my luck had ran out and so had my time. I traipsed back to the Notts/Derby's border (thru a pretty vicious thunderstorm) pretty chuffed that on my last possible days birding in January I'd hit and surpassed my target for the month.
February, I'm ready for you!