Where can I lose myself from the crowd I thought, ah Harwood, lets go and watch Goshawks displaying, Crossbills living up to their name and perhaps even a Great Grey Shrike. Look I'm nothing if not optimistic. It would have been rude not to call in at Bolam on the way past and say hallo to Mrs Barney Mcgrew.
Found by AG yesterday, she was sitting out on the ice this morning surrounded by Common Teal. These record shots were grabbed with a Sony Handycam through the scope without any clamps, commando photography a la Boulmer Birder.
So to Harwood the real birding, I scoped from the Gibbet for Grouse or something trying to catch Grouse, I drew a blank. Lot of snow still on the surrounding moor.
I trudged along snow filled tracks, silent except for the crunch beneath my feet. There were birds, most of them were Chaffinch, although I did have a Wren calling. Had I the time I would tell you the altitude like an old school proper birder.
I went to Harwood Village, perhaps the Crossbill would be closer here. More Chaffinch.
I came home, parked at Pegswood Community Park a location left almost as desolate as the one i had just visited but this time by Banks Mining.
Another tick, the fourth of the day were two Skylark, flirting like they were teenagers with no concern who saw or heard the commotion, it nearly felt like Sp... nearly used the SP word.
Two and a half hours, four new for the year and damp feet, home for some cuthbert, dibble, grub.