Thursday, January 11, 2018

Away from paradise.

Sometimes duty and commitment mean sacrifice. So it was that I ventured to the shores of the UK for 17 days, a time for family and friends during the Christmas and New Year festivities. Forsaking my piece of heaven and determined to make the most of grey skies accompanied by wet and cold weather, the visit also provided opportunities. It was great to catch-up with old friends, spending time with them and having them all to myself, normally we are surrounded by others and unable to get to know how we are progressing with various projects and thinking about the future. I found it good for the spirit to share time with likeminded friends.

So good to catch-up with old friends Ceri and Jackie
2017 had been a rollercoaster ride of emotions and activities, a year mixed with the good and the bad, a year filled with happiness and sadness. I guess it was also a year pretty much like any other, life continues to progress with interest and hope. So it was actually great to go back to the land of my fathers, visit old stomping grounds and get to see some wildlife I hadn’t seen for a few years. It has inspired me to consider future visits to past projects, visit areas again where my birding life had begun, where I might compare findings on the status of some species in years gone by to the present day. So my mission, rather than resolution, is to at least go back to a couple of moorland sites and especially to see how my beloved Wheatear are coping these days. I’ll let you know how that plan develops!

Gadwall rank right up there among my favourite wildfowl
Interesting to observe each and every Coot was accompanied by Gadwall waiting for food to emerge from the foraging Coot
I am more or less committed and booked as a wildlife guide for the first 4 months of 2018, but thereafter I mean to make time for myself for the next 4 months, which will take me to the end of August. I hope during this time I will visit one or two old project sites, maybe even meet old friends again too.

Tufted Duck are definitely a species I miss seeing in numbers, so it was especially good to witness large rafts of this duck
Distant, bad light and high winds didn't stop my excitement at seeing Goldeneye again after so many years.
Seeing herds of Fallow Deer also proved a lovely diversion from birding.

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