The vast majority of birders will not have had the spring they were wanting or expecting. Not just birders. The vast majority of everyone. Such a strange year...
The spring birding season is a finite entity, and right now we are fast approaching its end. Already I notice that early-morning birdsong is less frenetic, the urgency of new arrivals replaced with a more steadily-industrious feel as many get on with raising families. The rush of common migrants is largely done, and mostly now it'll be a few latecomers, plus the odd something special. Everything is easing down somewhat. I detect a bit of that in myself too. Now that we can get a bit further afield my initial excitement at the prospect of doing so has been tempered by the realisation that spring is already drawing to a close, and I sometimes catch myself ambling along, mind elsewhere, not paying attention at all. However, I must snap out of it. Mid to late May is a prime time for rarities, and I've a long-standing order for Black-eared Wheatear that hasn't yet been filled...
Which is a good reason to always look at Wheatears. While I saw very little else of note on this morning's outing, I did see five or six Wheatears. And as usual I couldn't resist trying to photograph them, despite the almost total lack of sunshine.
|This and the male below were two of three or four birds on the beach, and really skittish|
|Managed just the one shot of this bird.|
|A different male, but similarly uncooperative.|
|Full 2000mm optical zoom, hand-held.|
|Stonechat. Not skittish.|
Back in March I realised that lockdown would effectively cancel any spring seawatching plans I might have had. However, with almost constant offshore winds I don't think my scope would have seen much action anyway. I have counted zero skuas this year, and I don't reckon that figure is going to change any time soon...
So, the current plan for the remainder of this spring: get out a bit, don't daydream, and see what happens.