I smell change in the air? Or maybe its the stench of a dying social media platform due to the mismanagement of an egotistical madman?
With Twitter (up yours Elon) being degraded faster than the NHS, there is the makings of a mass exodus of people I had previously enjoyed following. They have now left the building, as it were.
It seems however, that there is a surprising benefit of this in that, coincidentally, some of these good folks are also top bloggers with the likes of Gavin Haig and Alastair Forsyth showing some renewed blogging vigour after the demise of Twitter accounts. Still hanging on there in the Twitterverse, formerly the most regular of bloggers, North Downs and Beyond big hitter, Steve Gale, has also indicated a return to past form. I wonder if there are other hitherto unknown bloggers out there ready to follow suite. We might even get more from our local stars like Ipin at Druridge and Alan Tilmouth. Its looking good .
Getting back to the job in hand, today I had hoped to be blogging about some tasty local patch birds after last nights stiff Easterly with heavy rain. In years gone by, a forecast like this below a big high over Scandinavia would surely have dropped in some birds to hunt through for things a bit more scarce.
Some observers will say that when recording natural history sightings, a nil count is just as important as a large number. If that is the case, today has been brilliant.
I got up shortly after first light and after coffee and breakfast headed out on foot for a walk along the coast path to see what goodies had been grounded. An hour and 15 minutes later I was back having seen exactly nothing. No Willow Warblers, Pied Flycatchers or Garden Warblers and certainly no icing on the top with a spare Wryneck, Barred Warbler or 'Icky' ( Icterine Warbler). The only things in the book were 2 Whimbrel N, 6 Swifts S, 3 Sand Martins over the village and a pair of Stonechats feeding a third brood.
When I posted this outcome on Twitter, responses said 'Pied Fly at Seaton Point according to Birdguides'. There had been a Garden Warbler there too and a handful of birds on Holy Island and down at St Mary's Island but that's not the point. That's more of a Shifting Baseline Syndrome. What should there have been? As mentioned above, 30 years ago, a forecast like this would have dropped in double figures of these commoner species and an odd individual of the rarer ones too. For example in 1995 early Sept an hour lunch break from work had 20+ Redstarts and 30+ Pied Flycatchers at Newbiggin. Another day in 2002 had a range of rarer and commoner species that would seem fanciful in today's times.
I hope I am wrong but I fear the days of having to hastily arrange a day off work to enjoy 'fall conditions' may be over...
|My only patch Icterine warbler, Sept 2008.|