Sunday, 29 January 2012


The winter Circle Jerking conundrum: how to get from A to B, stand motionless in sub-zero temperatures at B, then cycle back to A in freezing fog without either overheating on route or getting hypothermia*. I managed to avoid overheating very nicely on my 8 mile return this morning. The hanging around staring at deceptively feather-like golden-orange leaves in the dense undergrowth was so riveting, however, that I forgot I don't possess penguin-style countercurrent exchange in my hands or feet (OK pengiuns don't have hands but you get the point). Not being able to feel my hands or feet on the way back meant that instead of stopping to look for Tree Sparrows or Great Bustards (there'll be one here one day), I had to make a bee-line for home, hot chocolate and hot shower.

Back out into the freezing fog 45 minutes later though, à pied round the Nunnery Lakes, was worth it for two tarts: a high count - for the site - of 6 Pochard (88) and a Skylark (89) somewhere in the gloom. Still no Jack Snipe - one of two big grippers Neil Calbrade has on me at the Lakes this year. The other being Mediterranean Gull, thanks to the adult that chose to fly right over his head yesterday. Med Gulls are so rare that Chris still owes me a pint from his bet that someone would bag Med Gull for the 2011 BTO v RSPB staff challenge... 143 species in 2011, no Med Gull mate. Mine's a Black Sheep Golden Sheep, ta.

*Some helpful advice from Wikipedia: "Appropriate clothing helps to prevent hypothermia". Nice one.

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