So, after an unscheduled interruption to take a wallet I found in the road to the police station - now where's my karmic reward you powers that be? - headed off on the Sustrans 65 on a lovely bright morning, with rare decent temeperatures.
Upon arriving at Langford, found for the first time I had company on the path, a nice woman with a pair of bigger field glasses than mine, who kindly pointed out that the bright red T-Shirt I was wearing might not be the most sensible thing to be wearing birdspotting in a reed bed full of shy birds...
Yep, dud! doh! My bad! But to be honest, at midday, on a hot day, there was not a whole lot of activity down on the bed. A couple of lapwings, a cormorant, and unusually just the solitary heron. The most exciting prospect was a falccon I'd seen far down the reed bed by the river, but the hovering gave this away to be kestrel, and not the hoped for hobby!
Would have been a good day for Hobbies actually, as there were a lot of dragonflies about, the same large yellow brown species - they are by the Devon in town as well as I saw when out running in the afternoon - brown hawker? Common hawker? 4 Spot Chaser? I have no idea. They aren't Emperors, of that I am sure.
So, after taking in the sun for a bit, headed back up the path and reported my rather negative findings to the woman - she said she'd seen nothing much either, one heron, couple of kestrels, on the lakes.
On the way home, the House Martins and Swallows are flocking, almost looking like gossping neighbours as they sit with their little heads cocked on the telephone wires. And on a telephone wire was where I spotted what to me was the best spot of the day.
A fairly drab, light and dark grey bird sitting outside a pretty house in Winthorpe village, and making some high pitched little "zeeeeeeee" noises. Straight away figured this as a Spotted Flycatcher, and looking at "the books" at home, pretty sure I'm right!
So, a quiet day on the bird front, but to cycle out to Langford is never a waste of time!