Tufted Puffin, Kent, England - (M Wright)
What a week for UK birders. A Tufted Puffin in Kent?? Who would have thought? I'm no big deal twitcher, but when I heard the news my right hand automatically started to reach deep into pocket scrabbling for my car keys. It was a reflex action. However, regardless of whether it's voted in as a wild bird or not - questions are being raised as to how wild this bird was - where's it's tail? Why is it still in summer plumage? - I say good on the guys who were fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time.
I had the good fortune of lucking in on an overflying Goshawk at The Scrubs this morning. Whilst I was sitting in the grassland watching a party of migrating House Martins pause and frolic overhead I became aware of an outsized Sparrowhawk drifting over to the east of me from the north. The languid wingbeats, white patches at the base of its tail added to a jizz that reminded me of a chunky Hen Harrier, I knew that I was watching a site tick. It's funny, I've seen many Goshawks in my time but when you see one out of context over your patch close to central London, your rationale soon goes out the window.
Today is the anniversary of my dad's death. It's been 5 years now. I am closer to him now than what I ever was when he was alive, but I saw that Goshawk as a sign from him that all is well.