It's been a tough few weeks - the summer doldrums, if you like. Last Tuesday, I went to Cornwall on spec with Marc Read, only to be let down heavily by the weather - we managed a single Sooty Shearwater amongst other crap in a long, long seawatch (granted I spent most of the time asleep). I eventually arrived home in the early hours of Wednesday morning, but was rudely awoken by news of a Blue-cheeked Bee-eater in Kent, which I went on to dip. 1300 miles in two days, for a Sooty Shear - I found myself questioning "why bother?!"
Today (27th July), I kicked myself out of bed and the house for 11:00, and decided to do some local birding. First port of call was local gull mecca (by national standards it's shite) Dogsthorpe Tip. Amongst the few hundred Lesser Black-backed and tens of Herring Gulls present, five Yellow-legged Gulls (two adults, 4th-s, 3rd-s and juv) were picked up, as well as about five Great Black-backed Gulls:
Adult michahellis in typical setting
With not so much as a sniff of a cach, I quickly got bored and headed off.
The once-great Maxey Pits complex looked a shadow of its former self today (it has become ludicrously overgrown and water levels were very low), and all I could muster was a juvenile Greenshank being bullied by a Black-headed Gull. My old favourite, Baston & Langtoft Pits, looked even worse - here water levels are far too high and there's too much vegetation. Two Green Sandpipers seemed slightly perplexed to be feeding amongst the rocks on ARC Pit (the only available margins), but later looked more characteristic when they flushed from 300 yards and pissed off.
I wish autumn would hurry up - July birding is crap!