A long time has passed since my last post here, primarily because we're not getting out to five-star birding sites at the moment. My girlfriend's broken bones are still recovering and of the two of us she's the only driver. So I'm left to concentrate on getting to destinations closer by on bike. I live in an area of Nottinghamshire dotted with land reclaimed from the mining industry, put to modern use as nature reserves and country parks to chase the tourist pound. They feature landscape verging on the desolate, where the soil is thick enough the trees are only young, elsewhere only highland grasses thrive, perfect habitat, it seems, for Green Woodpecker and Skylark. I ride four or five times a week and the bounding lime-green rump of a fleeing Green Woody is always a thrill - especially if you're riding fast enough to pursue!
As familiar as it has become to me, that bird never loses its exotic appeal.
Elsewhere on my local patch the return of half a dozen Teal have finally signalled the arrival of Autumn, as has the boom in the Lapwing flocks. Fair enough, it may not be 40,000 Pinkies or 10,000 Knot, put 600 or so Peewits erupting over your head is a spectacle in itself, and this one seems like ours.
If you get out there on your local patch often enough, it's not difficult to find inspiring sights. I bet there's somewhere at least five miles from any home in the UK.