Well, dear Reader, some reassurance, if it were needed, that 'yours truly' is still alive and well and pursuing all things feathered.
On-call working scuppered last Sunday and will do the same this coming 'Day of Rest' (joke!). So Saturday 20th was a toss-up between low tide assessing the gulls from the Fish Quay north to Blyth for a 'white-winger' or, 'out west' looking for Ravens again. Without the need for Harry Hill to determine what's best, I chose the latter.
So, 'early doors', out, the vital hit of a Maccy Dees Latte with an extra Espresso and off on the A69 to the Plenmeller area.
Ramshaw Fell was the general location, kindly provided by the BirdForum's West-meister, Stewart J. Location well erm, located, wellies on and off we jolly well went.
A dozen or so Bullies ('In 1' and 'Look at what you coulda won!' etc.) welcomed me, and on the burn, two very lively Dippers and hods of Coal Tits. Dogs Bollocks!
The fellside was covered in Red Grouse, superbly vocal and very entertaining. Kestrel and a possible Merlin made up the raptor count (and a Buzzard or two on the way there), but alas, in my three hours of observing, nothing bigger than a Crow as far as Corvids go.
So a second blank drawn and may be it'll be third time lucky.
Any ornithological philanthropists out there who know any more-reliable Raven haunts, please feel free to make contact (I am mILLYg on BirdForum btw).