After listening to Leicester beat Leeds I felt a quick patch visit was in order (three days in a row now *shudders*) and made my way down to Jubilee and quickly became aware that the river had risen slightly overnight and most of the grassland was now rather soggy, requiring wellingtons. I had no wellingtons so instead got wet feet as I made my way down to the river. Just as I was setting up the scope for a grill of the pool I noticed something porpoising along the far bank of the river towards me. Things generally never porpoise up the river so this grabbed my attention rather quickly and I soon realised "oh my god, its an Otter". Yes, an Otter! Win! This was a tick of epic proportions too - I'd never seen a wild one anywhere before so to get one on my pitiful excuse of a patch was truly astounding. Seemed like a big male too as it slowly worked its way upstream along the far bank down to a range of about 5 metres, didn't seem to notice me at all.
Unfortunately however, the decision to not bring the canon backfired in truly spectacular fashion at this point as instead of a chance to photograph (albeit in terrible light) a big fat male Otter at close-range I had to make do with a picture taken with shaking hands on the galaxy - in terrible light:
|Yes, the photo is craptastic, but its still a patch Otter!|
Oh and birds....there may have been birds, but I was too busy Otter hunting to pay attention to such trivalties!
EDIT: The presence of this Stock Dove on the lawn this morning alerted me to the fact that I had forgotten the species on the garden list which I have now amended.
DOUBLE EDIT (I need to stop doing this):
Shortly after I finished this blog post I got a text from Skev alerting me to a "Wheatear fest" at Grove Park and thought it would be rude not to go and see them as one of the main reasons for my patchwatching over the last few days has been the chance of a Wheatear - tantalising totals are being reported everywhere at the minute. And so I joined Skev and Dave Gray at Grove Park and saw 11 juicy Wheatears with minimal difficulty. Very nice although my attempts at photographing them went down much worse than Rid managed earlier, bit jealous on that front!