Been honest, I've not been near the patch until yesterday, we've been grieving, we lost one of our own. I haven't been able to bring myself to write about it and share the pain. I'm sure you've all lost family, someone close to you, snatched away in their prime, you understand how much it hurts. I've talked to Oprah and done a dozen other chat shows as my therapist recommended and I just hope that getting back in the birding saddle is going to help me come to terms with the huge loss of someone that played such a big part in my life. I'm dedicating the rest of this here patch competition, or at least my effort in it to the memory of Whitney - our goldfish.
I remember when we first saw Whitney, swimming happily with an Irish tinker named Gypsy Cissy May, she just stood out as so different, a shining beacon of light amongst the dirty squalor and blatant commercialism of the local fair. What's all this got to do with patch birding I here you ask? Well yesterday three weeks to the day we found her floating in the bowl I laid her to rest in a special place just beyond the sewage outfall. Afterwards I took a wander on the patch and I swear Whitney was saving all her love for me.
First up a Grey Wagtail, hopping around the rocks of the Church Pool and that there gay bobbing little bundle of colour just dried up all them tears, Praise the lord. I looked over the pool and it was like all of God's creations were right there in front of me, or at least a few ducks were, so Gadwall, Tufted Duck, Shoveler, Wigeon and best of all a couple a couple of genuine migratory Barnacle Geese!
After spending a little time searching through a big gull flock and a few dozen alba wagtails dancing like angels on the sods of earth I headed home but not before a couple of Mistle Thrushes flew across and stood like Bodyguards on a nearby tree. Sleep well Whitney.