This weekend had been planned for a while that we (as a family & friends group) would be going to see Worcester Rugby Union side (Warriors) play on Saturday, so it was mildly vexing to see the forecast for Saturday being sunny. That said, Sunday was also supposed to be good, so not so bad... or so it seemed.
Saturday would have to be a local trip. I would postpone the trips to Draycote (for the smew and red necked diver) and Cannock Chase (hawfinch) until Sunday, as it would be sunny then too. Went to Upton Warren, but there was very little about in the icy conditions. Then at midday the news comes through; Match abandoned due to a frozen pitch. Great. Saturday wasted. :-(
Sunday, I awoke early with the plan to head to Cannock and then to Draycote. Plans were abruptly torn up, after peering through the window and seeing completely overcast and grey skies. How can the BBC weather team be so wrong?? I mean, it's not like they've not had practice? Absolute cretins. I'll be looking elsewhere for forecasts from now on. Useless.
Inspite of the dull conditions, I went to Draycote, and after much wandering about, spotted the smew. It didn't come very close in, and the conditions weren't favourable for decent photos, but I took some anyway. And it was even colder there than usual. My fingers, legs and lower half of my face went numb - was concerned whilst scoffing a burger that I might bite one of my fingers off, and not know...
No sign of the red necked diver though - or any of the other divers. Quite a few goosanders around, and mergansers. Also spotted a goldcrest amongst a flock of long-tailed tits, but a group of noisy ramblers and families teleported in near me (I swear there had been no-one close by when I first saw the bird, yet seconds later, crowds were milling by), and scared them all off.
So a rubbish weekend, and to top it off, problems with Fotopic have meant my site has been offline all weekend, along with no word from them as to the cause of the problems, with rumours of their demise floating around the net, to add worry to anyone with a decent photo collection with them (I have 4!).
Back at work and it's snowed. Would have been great to be out today, with some scenic shots and birds in the snow. Sunny too. How unusual. I could scream at times.
But I won't, and as I type, Fotopic has appeared again, so perhaps things might improve. Pics of the smew will appear later tonight, if I have time after booting the Christmas Tree outside and tidying up, to process any.
I have something to look forward to though - have booked a couple of days off work soon, to spend a long weekend in Norfolk with some of my photographer friends off the internet. I am hoping that I'll become familiar with some of the better locations for photos over there, so in the future I'll know where to go. Fingers crossed!