My yearly tradition of a birding trip in the days before my birthday came around again. A pre-sunrise start had us heading to Cambridge. Why not try to join the Rough-Legged Buzzard bonanza of the last few months? Am I the only person to have not seen one? It's the Yellow-browed Warblers all over again, well... not quite. In a naive way, I thought finding the Buzzard would be easy, I mean a big bird like that, how hard could it be? It was a cold, grey, uninspiring morning, even the Common Buzzards just sat there in the trees. Still, the fens were scanned, and produced a lot of Kestrels. Not a large pale raptor in sight. A few Red Kites and Buzzards were all. The hours of the morning passed and it began to rain, with hopes for the RLB extinguished, it was perhaps time to move on.
Thankfully the Buzzard wasn't the whole day plan, we had a back up. Just down the road was a 1w male Ring-necked Duck, again we approached with naivety. How hard would it be to separate from the Tufty's? Distinguishing it wasn't the problem, there was a distinct lack of Aythya ducks altogether. And the lake it was on? Very large. The sun was starting to set, at an angle which could only be described as awkward. Again, we had to leave with no success.
Ah, at least there was some light relief, a few Corn Bunting in with a Yellowhammer flock was a nice surprise - and year-tick - on the walk to the car.
It was just one of those days.