A Call to Arms

Right, its time to get seriously competitive. Whilst we’ve spent January and February birding along nicely, we’ve not really done what we set out to do yet, and thats out-bird one another. I would like to put an invite out there to any of you who fancies joining Team Jo (or Team Chris for that matter!) on a birding day out.

Now that Spring (and with it migrants) is nearly here, an idea that I would really like to get going is a day of Team Chris vs Team Jo to see who can pick up the most species within a set time limit (sort of like the Bird Race we took part in last month, but with fewer teams). If you’d be interested in tagging along with either team, please let one of us know and we can set a date and decide some details! Whilst I’m planning a full on trip for the future, we would like to go a couple of informal head to heads over the next couple of months as a warm up.

As an added bonus, I found out today that I featured in Birdwatching magazine’s March issue as letter of the month (yay!), which has won me a pair of shiny new binoculars. Having just bought a pair each last week, Chris and I now have a spare set for anyone who would like to borrow them an join us on a days birding, perfect timing!

Hands up if you want to join one of our teams, and let the battle commence!

Jo

Through the wind and rain

Having had a glorious day of sunshine on Saturday, I was looking forward to a long planned walk with our friends Ben and Caroline on Sunday. On waking up, I quickly realised that a lovely stroll in the sunshine was not what we were in for. The weather could not have been more opposite in character- throughout the day we had rain, sleet, hail and a lot of wind. Not exactly perfect for an adventure on foot. Although we made a detour en route to the lovely Rosie Lea tea rooms in Brockenhurst for a cuppa in the hope the rain would ease off by the time we’d finished, the miserable weather continued.

Warmed and undeterred, we jumped in the car and made our way over to Pennington Marshes to see how far we could wander before we gave up. Caroline and Ben have been following this blog so far (hello guys!) so birding was on the agenda, and through the wind and rain Chris and I were able to point out Wigeon, Teal, Pintail, Shoveller, Little Egret, Coot, Turnstone, Redshank and Oystercatcher among others, before we were so frozen in the sea breeze that we had to return to the car to warm up and dry off.

Pennington Marshes

The boys march on checking out Dunlin whilst I’m distracted by Turnstones!

There’s been a ‘burder’- looks like a Swan wasn’t very lucky…

I’ve never had so much fun getting cold. Looking forward to our next outing!

In other news, my garden is becoming a bird haven- I spied 2 pairs of Siskin on Sunday and a lone Goldcrest on Monday morning whilst having breakfast. Sorry Bill Turnbull et al, the garden is becoming much more compelling viewing than BBC Breakfast!

Jo

A quick note on Chris’s behalf- he’s been super busy recently working a load of 8:00- 22:00 days to get a load of work out of the way, so not much time for blogging. I promise he’ll be back soon- his posts are far more entertaining than mine!