Rising just after 8am, I just got on with work. By midday Jenny and I decided a stroll down to Thrifty was in order and we trolled off, finding it pleasantly mild and overcast.
|Townsend's Solitaire - no, really...|
The photo here is pathetic even by my usual poor standards, and is helped even less by the fact that I forgot to take it off black and white mode before shooting. Genius.
Delighted with this unexpected year-tick we headed home where I was rather surprised to spot a hermit thrush under, then in, the apple tree outside the kitchen window. It then struck me that perhaps I should have been out early...
Half an hour later, and I couldn't concentrate on my work for thinking about what other grounded migrant might be lurking in the neighbourhood. So, I set off to the Government House grounds in search of avian delights.
Now, by this time it was mid-afternoon and quite possibly the worst time of the day for finding birds. Add to that the Crufts-esque parade, the walkers, the cyclists and what-not and my expectations lowered significantly as I set off along the trails. Almost immediately, I located a Hammond's flycatcher and watched it at close quarters as it sallied from the garry oaks just below the car park.
Along the lower path I caught some movement high up in a tree and was, let's say, a little disappointed to see a female house sparrow busily nipping buds. But then I noticed another bird, and got my first Townsend's warbler for the year, swiftly followed by a second. What cracking birds!
The rest of my amble was comparatively dull, with little else on show. I couldn't help but wonder what I may have encountered had I been down here at 7am...
Oh, and walking back around 3.45pm I was pleased to see that the solitaire was still present in the same spot.