The current drought continues, and it's driving me crazy. It's making me wonder why on earth I do this. Especially at the moment, when I just haven't really got the time to focus on a hobby that doesn't pay the bills. Yellow-browed Warbler was first, then Hen Harrier and now Short-eared Owl.
During the past month I've missed them all. The Yellow-browed Warbler is now history for this year - I'm glad to see the imaginary back of it to be perfectly honest - and a Hen Harrier is not easy to find in Surrey, but Short-eared Owls have been popping up all over the place. The were two sightings over my local patch at Holmethorpe recently, another at Farthing Downs, near Coulsdon, a couple of days ago, plus two sightings at Canons Farm over the weekend. Scroll down the lists of sightings on Rare Bird Alert, and Short-eared Owl comes up more than most.
I paid Canons Farm a visit on Monday night in the fog and drizzle but predictably drew a blank, and tonight, accompanied by top patch watcher David Campbell and John Blenham, one failed to turn up again.
I know I'm trying too hard, I should just go with the flow, but time is running out for the year. Next plan is to go to Papercourt, near Ripley, and try the meadows there. A friend of mine and former colleague at Racing Post, Francis Kelly, saw two being hassled by crows on Sunday evening, while there was a further sighting tonight of one hunting over the meadows. Everyone else is having the fun and I could do with something to smile about soon. An early morning start it is then...