Being relatively new to birding has several downsides (i.e. general incompetence) but also has one major upside - loads of ticks! I don't need to leg it across half the country because some stranded siberian waif has turned up in a grotty bush in Northumberland, I can happily bodge my way around local sites ticking the shit out of everything! Patch ticks, site ticks, year ticks, life ticks, might have ticked it before but im gunna tick it anyway ticks - they're fucking everywhere!
Today I wasn't very happy with life - instead of a potential life tick in the form of the WRS at Rutland I was subjected to driving to Sheffield to pick up Amy and then Manchester for some bemusing underground tour of Manchester that my darling twin sister had arranged (the ginger bitch).
Now the conurbations of Sheffield and Manchester don't offer much opportunity for lifers and the fact that I didn't take any optics with me also boded for a pretty birdless day but I wasn't to be denied!
So what was the life tick? Two Red Grouse thats what! Only fleeting glimpses were attained from the A57 running up Snake Pass towards Glossop - a superbly named pass!
I know, I know Red Grouse isn't much to sing and dance about and some of you may well be wondering how on earth I'd managed to reach the age of 25 without ever seeing one but the answer for that lies in where I live. Leicester. Leicester has no grouses and neither does Northamptonshire, Warwickshire or Norfolk (where I have done nearly all of my birding to date). So thats why i'd never seen one before. So fuck you! If you are looking for ammo poke fun at the fact that currently I've never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever seen a Skua! Not a single one. Of any species. Ever. Now that is laughable!
Other stuff seen from the car today (one day I will die in a mangled fireball because im incapable of keeping my eyes on the road) included Peregrine, several Raven and two Jay