It's been a frustrating week. Since last weekend's excitement I haven't had one opportunity to venture out with the scope. Work, that necessary evil, has cornered me into a room with a computer and I haven't reappeared since Monday morning.
A pity, but in Surrey I can't say there's been much action considering so many birds are looking south and packing their feathery luggage for the long trek to Africa, or wherever their favourite winter homes might be. The summer, for what it has been worth, is now in its death throws and there will be some interesting days ahead - hopefully not this weekend as I'm at a family gathering and watching the beginning of the autumn migration won't be high on the agenda.
Still, looking back over the past seven months, my birding experiences really have exceeded my expectations and in my self-proclaimed Surrey species listing battle, I'm not that far behind the leader - he's on 149 and I'm on 144. Only a week or so ago he was on 145, but since then he's seen, amongst other birds, Curlew Sandpiper (on the same day I did - but I was in Kent so it doesn't count for the list) and Bar-Tailed Godwit.
There are a few I hope to see before the year is out, including Water Rail, Brambling and Ringed Plover (yep, it's some of the not so rare ones that I just seem to be looking the other way when they're around). I'd also like to find a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker - Dodge at Beddington has given me a site to go and have a look at, plus there are sure to be a few interesting birds still to drop in at either Beddington, Staines Reservoir or, hopefully, Holmethorpe.
So long as one of them isn't a Caspian Gull, because I won't recognise it even if it comes up to me holding a big sign saying what it is.