Today was a pretty horrible day. The weather was gloomy, which meant that I had a lovely cross country run in the afternoon. However, it was arguably the first time I wasn't too worried about it; not just because it wasn't actually raining, but also because it's the only time of year that I go to Roundshaw Downs. The only problem is that there were lots of other students and teachers, so I obviously couldn't have binoculars dangling down my neck.
Either way, at 14:30ish we set off and it started off well. c. 30 Redwings, disturbed by a group of raucous runners, set off from some berry trees, as did 15 or so Common Gulls from the fields. My biggest hope was to spook a Woodcock from the long grass - very optimistic, and it obviously never happened.
However, the highlight was a Firecrest which was calling from a group of Long-tailed Tits and Goldcrests. I stopped to admire its bright colours for a few seconds, although from about 15m away. I was then dragged on by an impatient friend. It was unexpected so pleasing, but I still haven't had a good view or got a good picture of one yet. After that it was all quiet, except a single Skylark in the old airfield. Either way, considering it was just a bit of birding whilst running, it was quite good, despite having lots of people shaking their head or saying some nice descriptions like 'Bloody weirdo' as I walked past, which I actually quite like to be honest!
I haven't had the camera for a few weeks now, and I'm starting to get more and more impatient with birding, with the Twite showing even better than before and some Parrot Crossbills showing really well on the Surrey border. Though I've got no chance of seeing the PC's, the Twite, Iceland and Caspian Gulls are the ones I'm really hoping for this winter.
As soon as I'm free in 3 weeks I know where I'll be trying to go, if I get let in of course!
Meanwhile, the garden list has grown again, incredibly reaching its 49th sighting, as a pair of Chaffinch finally came into the 'recording area.' Oddly, though Goshawk and Osprey are on the list, Kestrel and Green Woodpecker aren't.