So, how has Easter been for you? Friday was changeable to say the least, Saturday was filled with duties away from the hobby that shall not speak it's name (in our house, at any rate), and Sunday was going to include a bike ride with Annie, until we decided the weather wasn't that great. In the end, we went up to Spynes Mere, fed the ponies, and then got the Sunday papers, while I got started on the Sunday roast. Leg of lamb was on the menu, roast potatoes - my speciality - plus veg and gravy made from the juices of the meat that included some special ingredients (trade secret).
The meat was about to go in the oven when I realised I was missing something - oil to cook the potatoes in. This meant a quick visit to the BP garage on Brighton Road, Redhill that incorporates an M&S. Guaranteed to find oil there on a Sunday when the shops aren't open.
Just before I went out I decided to have a quick look online at the Holmethorpe Sand Pit site run by Graham James, just in case something interesting had appeared. In the last couple of weeks I've seen two Black Redstarts (more on those on a later blog) and a Little Ringed Plover - both firsts for me. For my purposes, the Holmethorpe website is invaluable as Graham and his sidekick Gordon seem to like getting up mind-numbingly early to walk around the area, and then posting what they've seen for me to go and find later in the day. Makes my life a lot easier.
Especially so now when I discovered that a Ferruginous Duck was swimming around the in the area. I'm only a two-minute drive from the Holmethorpe Lagoons/The Moors section of the Sand Pit complex, so I made a quick detour before going to the garage. I found out later that Graham had actaully left me a message on my answering machine but I hadn't picked it up.
When I arrived I bumped into Graham and his wife Sue, who were just leaving the site. He explained where to look and that a young lad (who turned out to be Devil Birder, although he seemed a nice lad to me) with a scope was still watching the bird. So, within minutes of leaving home I was looking at a very scarce bird, a first for me and the first sighting ever of a Ferruginous Duck in the area.
It's easy, this lark.