Saturday 12th March light S hazy sunshine 11C
My day starts watching a youtube video about the biggest Green day list ever; Scott Robinson and Ted Parker's amazing walking and canoeing day in the Manu, Peru. They saw 331 birds that day, still the Big Green Big day record. It's a fascinating watch. Scott's talk about going for the Big Green Day record along the Manu Road, Amazonia and Cock of the Rock lodges, the latter with a house flock of 80 species, floods my mind with memories and I laugh out loud at the thought of doing a BIGBY, Big Green Big Year along it. Maybe a dream; Lima with San Isidro Park, the Miraflores beach and Los Pantanos de Villa reserve starts the year. Then the cycle along the coast to the Paracas. I wonder if a yacht would take me out to the islands? Up and over the Andes via Cusco, Ollantaytambo and the sacred river; canoe! To Huarcarpay and the lake there and then the long Manu Road itself down to Chontachaka and Salvacion and beyond to areas that I haven't been to . . yet. Dream on. The thoughts of my daughter, Rebecca, come to mind as I go through the route in my head; “killed by bandits!”
On my facebook page I see the sad news that Keith Emerson has died and so immerse myself in his music for the next hour whilst uploading some photographs to my blog.
It is going to be a tough day. I need to cycle as far as I can along the North Yorkshire coast towards Teeside. At least the weather is with me. The sun is shining and it is warm enough to cycle without a coat. Also a light wind is behind me at first.
Through Scarborough and the hills begin. Up the road goes to moorland heights and a couple of stonechat are on the heather.
Yesterday's ring ouzel is on my mind; the earliest ever seen in Yorkshire. I am confused over it. I can see it passing me in my mind's eye and I wonder how it had got there. Was it on Flamborough before coming over the bay? Or did it just come over the whole of the North Sea to get here? Do ring ouzels usually migrate at night therefore how come it came in during the afternoon? Lots of questions.
Just to keep the strange avian theme going, I see a lapwing flying around in display. The unusual thing is that it has a totally white hand; it's primaries are white. Just on one wing but so distinctive.
Further on a large male pheasant is sitting stunned in the middle of the road. I pick it up and put it into a field. It may get a bit more life before the bird murderers get to work.
This main road is a veritable graveyard for so many species. The usual load of pheasants and hares also has a yellowhammer, a barn owl, a moorhen and a few blackbirds and a couple of wood pigeons. Mammals dead by the road include fox, badger and rabbit.
This depressing total of car-nage is relieved when a couple of short-eared owls I see over the moorland with just nine miles to get to Guisborough.
A red grouse is there too, another bird that takes the Green year list to 186.
A few miles later two females and a male red grouse are very close to the road.
So the year list is 186, which is still twenty four ahead of this time last year.
45.65 Miles 3027 feet elevation up 2718 feet elevation down