Okay, so you might have thought that I'd vanished off the face of the planet, with the lack of blog entries of late. Things were a bit rough for a few weeks with Mum being seriously ill so I needed to be local and contactable, hence disappearing off to remote birding spots was impossible, and to be honest, not even on my mind.
Fingers crossed though, she seems to be on the mend and we're all hoping she'll make a full recovery now.
I spent a couple of spells over at the North Moors at Upton Warren, but the bittern that has been seen there before, apparently has moved on. We hope. Be very sad if it has been killed by one of the predators around. Hence, I didn't see it. Didn't see much at all to be honest, except distant redwings and fieldfares.
Then the news came of a glossy ibis, seen near the River Severn, near Holt. With the sun peeking out between the clouds, I made my way to the pub car park and then hot-footed it along the riverside. Unfortunately, after about a mile I realised it was nowhere to be seen, though several other birders reckon it had been seen across the water earlier. Just as hope was fading, news came in that it had relocated to a flooded field near Grimley, so my plans for a pint were put on hold for this chance of seeing it.
True enough, the bird was in the field, but by now the light was fading and clouds had rolled in too. And the bird was way too far off for a photo. Damn! And then to make matters worse, some muppet of a farmer fired off a round which put everything up into the air... and we all watched as the ibis flew off. Got some record shots of it though they look like cardboard cut-outs!
On the Sunday I thought I'd try for a bird I've not visited since pretty much this time last year. A tawny owl. And a bit of a local celebrity, as it's virtually always in the top of a broken tree at Himley Hall. With decent light, I hoped for a decent shot or two, but timed it badly - stupid! Should have gone in the morning. Note to self: Go earlier next time!
Anyway, the owl was indeed there, and glared down at me when a passing dog decided I was worth barking at. Such a lovely looking bird though, with amazing feather detail.