Well, not quite as I intended but a few adventures in between!! I departed on the 20th down to Yorkshire, uneventful and smooth journey except I then managed to sprain my ankle (not the usual one, the other!!) and for a time thought it was broken. After being used to striding over moorland etc how can anyone fall over in an Asda car park?
Anyway , after a couple of "domestic days" getting things done to the car, shopping ( managed to coincide with the 20% M & S discounts ) , seeing friends and family, things were approaching normal so had a visit to the Potteric Carr Nature Reserve near Doncaster. Managed to see a couple of Yellow-legged Gulls but missed the Caspian Gull whilst we were sitting , absolutely frozen, in a hide awaiting the hopeful arrival of Bittern which Matthew, my son, hasn't seen this year. Suffice to say we were disappointed.
Sunday saw Matthew and I depart early into Lincolnshire pursuing a few good birds. At Covenham Reservoir we had excellent views of Grey Phalarope after braving extremely icy roads and at least a couple of inches of snow in places ( plus a few cars in ditches etc ). A Long-tailed Duck and a Purple Sandpiper were also there besides a good variety of waterbirds. Another good site!!
On to Grainthorpe to see the Saxaul Grey Shrike...... what a confiding bird, using humans as a means of locating prey which they had disturbed and, consequently being only a metre or so away. I have to publish an acknowledgement here as Matthew had seen it previously but still visited the site in the full knowledge that I was "catching one up" on him for my Bubo list!!!
On to Donna Nook, ostensibly to see the Glaucous Gull, which wasn't playing ball!! The area is an important natal site for Atlantic Grey Seals of which the UK has approximately 38% of the world population. There's around 700 pups being born there this year and innumerable ones were still around wuth their Mums in close attendance, watched by several hundred people given it was Sunday afternoon. Rather different to the hushed privacy of the birthing suites of NHS hospitals it has to be said and with a cutting northerly wind too!!!
Returned and took my eldest daughter back to York, where she's at the College of Law ( introduced to the new boy friend too, real Dad duty stuff!! ).
And so, with yesterday spent in a flurry of Christmas shopping, car MOT etc etc I then returned to Islay today happy, much poorer, and with a limp. Not a bad holiday!!