Thursday, 4 November 2010

Road to Nowhere (22-23 Oct)

click on the title! :)

I do now know what The Talking Heads were headily talking about...

This post contains insights into a journey that can only be described as long. So long it took two whole days!

Friday 22 Oct was an inset day from school, so it was today that completed the first leg of a journey from Sussex-Edinburgh. We stopped off in Lincoln overnight, to stay with my dad's cousin, wife and kids.

Before we left Seaford, I heard saw of my last migrants of the year going over. A House Martin was lazily going over the house, a Redpoll gave it's call a few times and two Meadow Pipits went over together calling. The Grey Wagtail from Blatchington pond also flew over in a high circuit, looking to drop down by the pond again. I also took a few photos of the Starlings on the rooftops. All looking rather resplendent.

The rest of the journey was dominated by nothing. I read a book, listened to my MP3 and occasionally took the headphones out if anything good was on Radio 4. The single animal worth noting was a Roe Deer seen by the roadside somewhere along the M11 near Cambridge. Somewhere near here, we also stopped at Drayton Fen RSPB, for a walk. The birdlife was tedious, with a small hint of boredom. Apart from a flock of 80 Fieldfare, actually quite a good record for October, birdlife consisted of 40+ Tufted Duck, 3 Great Crested Grebes, a few Cormorant, 4 Meadow Pipits and 2 Green Woodpeckers. Cue distant and crappy shots of Mute Swans, with a few Wigeon if you look hard enough...
I also saw a Peregrine from the A1 neat Peterborough. But that was all...

Stopping off for the night with family in Lincoln, I swapped camera stories with Dad's cousin, a profeesional photographer. I left with a lot more knowledge, which I decided to apply in the future with my camera. Whether the results are really any different, I'll have to wait and see.

Saturday 23 Oct- we went from Lincoln to Edinburgh. Can't describe it much more interestingly than that! However, the further north, the more avain interest, it seems. a scraggy looking Raven flew over the A1 near York, and on the A68 through the Pennines, I saw a few Golden Plovers in the fields, alongside countless Lapwings.
At Derwent Water, we stopped for a half hour. In the wood by the reservoir were Goldcrests, Siskins and Coal Tits, and a flock of Pink-footed Geese flew over calling. My second yeartick of the day (along with, ridiculously, Golden Plover!!)
Following that, we stopped for another walk, in Kieltner Forest, in Northumberland. we saw 4 Crossbills, and a few of all the commoner pine woodland birds.
And then, at about 19:00, we arrived in Edinburgh. At long, long last!

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