Being trapped last weekend in cockney land meant I couldn’t get up to Cheesegate Nab to see the Ring Ouzels and Friday evening was my first chance all week. Sadly no Ring Ouzels but a cracking sunset coupled with glorious weather made it a very enjoyable hour. Willow Warblers seemed to be singing from every bush and Swallows weaved through the sky, on a nice night it really is a great place to be.
Birding in the summer months unfortunately gets reduced to just Saturday and Sunday mornings, due to playing cricket, so I tend to stay local and check out the local reservoirs. This Saturday morning saw a quick drive up to Ingbirchworth where a nice Common Sandpiper added tick number two for the weekend as it fed on the dam wall.
I also took a walk up to Broadstones in the hope of bagging a Wheatear but true to form it wasn’t to be. With time on my hands I thought one last look at Cheesegate Nab may come up trumps for either Ring Ouzel or Wheatear, but I failed miserably. That’s birding for you! We got hammered at cricket too, so not a good day. To say that some forecasters were predicting snow, whether Iceland’s eruption played some part or not I don’t know? Weather and temperature wise though, this is the best start to a cricket season I can remember. This reflected in the scores too, Honley posted a massive 335 for 6 and we (Skelmanthorpe) fell 30 short finishing on 305 for 6. 640 runs scored on the opening day of the season is just unheard of. Let’s hope this weather is a sign of things to come.
Whilst out on Saturday I chanced upon a Tawny Owl nest at one of the sites so I will do my best to visit fairly regularly and keep posting updates as to how they get on. There is a slight incline too which gives a bit of a vantage point so I may be able to get some decent pictures once the chicks start to emerge? This photo at least shows how well their markings keep them concealed; if it weren’t for the white stripes on the crown this bird would be virtually invisible.