Have not long returned from a 15 mile bike ride, in pleasant if windy conditions, out to Cotham and then back to town along the country lanes and through Thorpe. It was good to see so many people out on the N64 cycling and walking, and the excellent cycling roads towards Elston were also busy with folk in luminous tops, occasionally pausing to eat a banana.
As I reached the rubbish tip, I could see a fellow inspecting the gulls through a very impressive looking spotting scope. I correctly guessed this was the guy who reports on exotic iceland and glaucous gulls on the notts birding twitter hashtag. I enjoyed a pleasant conversation - he pointed me in the direction of some short eared owls spotted north of the Cotham Flash. He also told that a few greater black backed gulls are often seen at the tip, and they really are spectacular birds.
Sadly, it made me realise how thin my birdwatching experience is. Really envied him!
So, this made me doubly determined to keep my eyes open as I cycled around. Sometimes I've seen a kingfisher by the Devon bridge on the Elston road, but not today, and really disappointingly there were no big flocks of redwing about either. I suspect the promised high pressure for early March might send them and the fieldfares home.
I did see a cuple of beautiful kestrels heading west into Elston, hovering above me head on into the wind, lit up all manner of colours by a strong sun.