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WEATHER: atrocious, windy and raning and cold

What is it that compels me to go out in very nasty weather and get soaking wet, cold and risk being struck down in a thunderstorm?? Is in in my blood, my DNA? I am like every other birder I know,  you cannot not do it. When I drive the car into town I count the birds I see, I call out each species in my head, I can't help it, it is an obsession, its beyond my control.

I'm also compelled because I just love it out there, seeing, feeling and hearing the natural world gives me such an adrenaline rush that I'm high as a kite wihtin minutes. The excitement of not knowing what you are going to see next or seeking out what that shape was that moved just now, is just pure pleasure.

dark cloud on the horizon

OK enough of the sentiment, it really wasn't comfortable out there and it didn't help when Nigel Bleaken texted me to say that a telescope strapped to my back makes for a great lightening conductor!!

Hawthrone blossom still looked beautiful in the rain

As it happens the thunderstorm past over quickly and the rain came down in showers, heavy at times but not all the time. I did see the OTTERS very briefly and a lot of birds braved the weather to contiue singing. I never took a single picture of a bird, my lens were always steamed up or covered in water.

a Lamb waiting to mug me on the path

I stayed out for 2 hrs most of that time was spent sheltering under a tree and I did spent quite a while in the delerict building in the company of a flock of sheep. The nesting Grey Wagtails braved the weather and brought in food supplies to the chicks on a regular basis.

So now I had a stark reminder of what an April shower is all about, but it waited until the 29th & 30th to actually rain on my party.

During April I walked the same route everyday. 30 times around the Yeo Valley meadows, I covered 168 kms (105 miles) during April and saw 59 species of birds,  6 mammals, 10 butterflies, 1 damselfly and dozens of wild flowers.  I enjoyed every meter of it.

May is my favourite month of the year and it looks like I'm going to be locked down for at least another 30 days, so watch this space to see what happen in Stoford and the Yeo Valley. Bring it on!!