Friday, August 28, 2015

Back on the radar

Grey Heron coming in to land on the Brigg
Well, it's been a while, hasn't it? As longer-term viewers are doubtless aware, there's something of the ebb and flow involved in upkeeping these bulletins, and after a relatively flowing spring and summer it's been a rather more ebbing August. Touchingly, the radio silence has inspired various messages of concern and encouragement (thanks folks!), but it's nothing beyond a combination of the above and circumstances / priorities taking necessary precedence.

Greenshank at the Dams - it's been a productive few weeks for waders (more to follow)
By way of explanation, it's all down to a lack of time. On top of working a lot of late (no complaints, mind, especially as it involves being in the field all day), I'm presently studying for a BSc, and on top of that, as per usual I've spent as much time hammering the patch as I can get away with, without inspiring either cardiac arrest or divorce (the former thankfully much closer than the latter, at least as far as I'm aware). On top of that, for several years now I've been heavily and happily involved in Filey Bird Observatory, and one of the various roles I'm responsible for is the group's online presence, including the website.

After Woodcock, Yellow-browed Warbler, Pied  Fly, Bonxie and Brown Rat, the latest addition to this particular 'patch list' (the patch in question involving a couple of square metres of shelter in front of the Brigg hide ...)
Arguably the most important (and unarguably the most time-consuming) aspect of the site is the latest sightings section, which I update regularly (most days or every day during busy times, every few days in quieter periods). As wardens, recorders etc. at other observatories and groups will attest, it's quite a job if you want to do it properly and maintain a high but accessible standard - a couple of paragraphs and photos may look like a cosy five minute's work, but collating, writing and editing actually account for between half an hour and an hour each time (sometimes more); and after long sessions in the field / working / studying, those couple of hours before falling asleep become increasingly precious, especially during migration seasons. Hence, something has to give, and as a lesser priority, it's often the content on these here pages.

Marsh Harrier and 'friend' - after a poor spring for large raptors, August has seen a gradual improvement
On top of that, it's been a very productive couple of weeks birding here on the patch, and finding and enjoying birds remains somewhat more of a thrill than writing about or editing photos of them.... but, as of now, I hope to be posting with a much-increased regularity, beginning with summaries of August, within a day or two. Watch this space....