In the recent case of several midlands counties being named as drought regions, this was exceedingly bad timing; it basically hasn't stopped raining since. This makes the authorities look inept and authorities dont like looking inept. In this case I can feel a sort of empathy towards the bungling decision makers that run this country however. The empathy is brought about because until this recent period of rain it has been horribly dry and although it has been the subject of much hilarity all this rain may not change much. Afterall, one period of rainfall is unlikely to be sufficient to replenish surface and groundwater stores of water back to "normal" levels - particularly in the case of aquifers which have a very slow re-fill rate. So, it is entirely likely that this rain won't fix anything for the better and will only cause the Environment Agency and others to be called bunglers and nancys and pooboys. The Governments decision back in the 70's of not constructing a national water grid on the grounds that it was too expensive is looking more and more a foolish decision as current Governments are being faced with the same proposals now but at a much larger cost. Can Governmental plans to spuff a big, fat, wedge of cash on a train-line between London and Birmingham (destroying many valuable habitats in the process, I might add) be justified when basic problems such as provision of water are not at the standards expected of one of the more developed nations? I think not.
Anyway to stop the ranting there an example of good timing was my decision to go down to Jubilee this afternoon in the middle of a moderately intense shower. As Skev mentioned on his blog yesterday, all this weather knocking around means any number of migrants might be forced to drop onto the patch and thus onto my patch list. And so I waited until it was nicely pissing it down and then went for a lookie at the patch to see if anything had dropped in. Two Common Sandpiper was exactly the sort of thing I was after and two common sands was exactly what I got! Would have been nicer if they had been greens and thus a patch tick but this is only my 2nd or 3rd (yes, im terrible with records) record of them on patch so no complaints really. They swiftly flew off towards the other (out of view) pools though, highlighting the benefits of good timing! A text was sent out anyway to Sir Skev Markington on the off chance they came back and turns out they did, how nice of them! House Martin and Blackcap were also new for the patch yearlist and two pairs of Tufted Duck were on the pool - new since the last visit.
Anyway to make up for the lack of photos so far have a couple of the current Leicestershire drought conditions:
EDIT: been meaning to do this for a while but have only just got around to it - my profile now has a contact email - its firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to get in touch about anything. As you may have surmised this isn't my personal email account but I will check it regularly and try to respond to everything that isn't ludicrous/idiotic/on fire.
EDIT #2: and I've just added a new page at the top which is the current garden list, I'll do the patch one next but lets not get carried away with this listing lark, thats the first proper bird list I've ever written!
EDIT #3: I must be gravely ill as I've just got back from visiting the patch for the second time in one day! Shocking behaviour! In my defence it did look for all the world like the heavens were going to open, noah-style and so would be an ideal time for a juicy migrant to drop into Jubilee. In the end the rain passed by Jubilee and although I got one of the Common Sandpipers from earlier the only things new (or things I missed earlier - this is more likely) was a Little Egret and Grey Wagtail around the pool and a spanking male Reed Bunting along the river. Oh yes and probably the same Fox that Skev saw yesterday was cruising around looking for something to menace. A quick look at the newly christened "Owl and Snipe field" (never seen either species in this field but I reckon I will if I start/keep looking) across the road from Jubilee produced nothing but that shall not deter me from checking the field again regularly.