Rock Pipit - Andy CookThis morning I lay in bed debating.
Should I stay or should I go now?
No, I wasn't in a strange woman's bed - I was weighing up the pros and cons of checking out my local patch. The call of nature won the day and soon I found myself parking outside The Scrubs.
It was a good decision. I quickly had 17 Skylarks in a flooded field with a further 5 elsewhere. That was 22 birds. A club record! The previous maximum count was 9 overhead several years ago. I also had at least 80 Fieldfare (all on the deck) with at least 45 accompanying Redwings. All these species were obviously roving to avoid the harsh weather conditions further north and west. As well as an overflying Jackdaw (scarce here) and a Great Black-back amongst the general gull movement overhead, the prize bird was a Rock Pipit that called as it flew over. It was my first here since the early 90's.
I returned home delighted that I made such an inspired decision. After watching Manchester United beat West Ham on the box, I set about the task of readying myself for my journey to Paris, first thing in the morning. The weather prospects look dreadful. Rain - and loads of it.
I received an email from a Parisian urban birder who had agreed to take me out tomorrow morning around a few sites. The birder that fellow blogger Nathalie put me onto was very helpful but unfortunately couldn't meet up with me. My plan is to board the Eurostar at 5.25am in the morning and start writing the article. I haven't found any accommodation yet so I'll ask around once I'm in Paris. Then at around 5pm I'm meeting with the sales manager at Le Meurice (a really posh hotel in the Dorchester group) for a cup of tea. I met this woman in London at The Dorchester. That is a whole new story that maybe I will tell you about one day.
So I'm going to bed down now, as I have to be up at 3.30am.