Already the wheels are coming off. No birding today means I have to reach back to the 1st and 2nd of January for my bird. What on earth am I going to do tomorrow? Indulge me though, a little, as I digress. It has been a day of discards.
We have rented an air-conditioned godown for as long as we have been in this house. The idea was to store all the things we wanted to keep but for which we no longer had room. In my memory it was stuffed to the gunwales with valuable artefacts and heirlooms. I was slightly bemused this morning to find it contained only the following:
1 washing machine
1 gas dryer
1 set of golf clubs, post-hickory era but not by much. The driver was still a real wood.
Miscellaneous artwork and framed photos
1 coffee table
2 bedside cabinets.
And we have been paying an arm and half a short leg for storing this, year in, year out. Yikes. So already I have given away one painting. The rest of the artwork has been stored around the house in nook and crannies. The golf clubs and white goods will go if we can’t find a taker. The coffee table and bedside cabinets we will either give away or find a way of rehousing. Et voilà! A decent amount of money saved in one fell swoop. However in the course of investigating what we could throw from the storeroom at home to make way for the incoming, I discovered a few little gems I thought might have gone astray. Enough volumes of Charles Dickens to keep me going through 2014. My copy of 1066 and all that! and importantly, all 12 issues of Birding World, 2003, containing in the September issue that much sought-after paper on Identification of Mongolian and Lesser Sand Plovers. Hooray. All of this of course did not play well with the memsahib, who wanted to get on with the throwing out. Never mind. We shall both live to fight another day. Probably tomorrow.
So to the third bird. Today’s successful applicant is Brown-headed Thrush, Turdus chrysolaus. Now TC has been putting on a fine show at Long Valley and I was fortunate enough to take some shots when the fast food bar was closed and the serving staff had not yet roused themselves from their slumbers.
These are very early morning shots, around 7.15am. TC isn’t really doing much but I guess that’s what birds do when they have just woken up. They wander around aimlessly looking for cereal and toast. Later in the day the McGrub café opened and the light improved. Its a very pretty bird. Far more attractive than say, Chiffchaff. And I suspect it hoards a lot less
junk valuable antiques than Mrs. Ha and I do. So all in all I thought it was worth bird of the day.
I shall now have a sleepless night worrying about bird number 4. In the worst case I could always go and look for the Chiffchaff but frankly, life’s too short. And I have not yet finished Little Dorrit. It could be a Chinese Bulbul day tomorrow. Or perhaps Stejneger’s Stonechat. I shall leave you in suspense.