Thursday, 19 March 2020

Testing times ahead

Well the birding has come to a sudden and dramatic halt. My father in law has tested positive for Covid-19. At 84 it's a concern, he was hospitalised last week with a suspected heart attack waiting to happen after calling an ambulance out. I sat with him first in the Resus unit then in the majors unit for about four hours before we were asked to put masks on and he was tested. Two days later his results returned as positive for the virus although he had no dry persistent cough, no high temperature but did have a chest infection for which the doctors gave strong antibiotics. He was well the following day and returned home to continue his isolation after five days in hospital. I have been in isolation since his hospital visit even before I knew he was positive and I admit I didn't think he had the right symptoms for it so expected it to be negative. He'll need a pace maker fitted when things calm down with the hospitals.

Both my sons are in self isolation with their families too at their properties and being very sensible about the need for this action despite having no contact directly with their grandad over this period. One of my brothers has symptoms and has been tested but awaits the results. I have to say these episodes have been very sobering and have really brought home the impact this virus is having and is going to have for many of us. I see the numbers of deaths each day and can't help looking behind the numbers to think of the devastation each of those families are suffering as loved ones are taken from them prematurely.

What this does do is make you realise how much we take our liberty for granted. I can't go to the shops and with home delivery slots being a month away that's not helping. My birding for over a week now has been limited to the garden where the current highlight is a very low Red-Kite on Monday. I expect to finish my fourteenth day isolation this weekend and if healthy I'll be considering my options with the utmost care for others. Social distancing is our obligation to each other so there will be no twitching for me until this things over but I would still like to experience a few solitary walks in the countryside for my own well being if that remains a possibility as further measures are put into place in the coming days and providing I don't find the virus living within me and bringing me down which it still could with incubation being anything up to fourteen days.

I usually collect my wifes medication from the pharmacy but that's not an option now and we're relying on them delivering it with the first delivery due yesterday which didn't materialise and is now due tomorrow (two days late but they are swamped as you can imagine).  I miss my grandson after just ten days so I know that's going to be hard as time goes by. I miss my parents too and the hardest thing was not being able to visit my Father in law in hospital. That is something you perhaps don't consider in all this, those lives lost have probably been lost alone in ICU's around the country with no visits allowed from loved ones which is so very sad for all concerned.

This is global and our thoughts are with family in Australia and America too at this time and I have to say we have a great WhatsApp group so we can share and keep in touch easily with them all. I also have Facetime so I can see and talk with our grandson which is a delight to both me and my good lady. I need to find some way of putting some food in the fridge which is my current project but is proving very challenging. I'm hoping for some assistance from my youngest on this front who does have a home delivery booked for next week.

As for birding well I'll just play it safe and maybe I'll get out alone and see some birds but you have to consider the guys at the petrol station and everybody else you might bump into so I'll see how this goes as I'm fully committed to the social distancing required if we are to have an impact on the spread of this cruel virus.

This time last year I was watching Stone Curlews and Wheatears as they arrived back here I'd like to think there's still time to get out and get some action.

Stay positive, be sensible, look out for others and stay safe guys.

Last year at King George reservoir
Year list still 188

quick brother's just had his results and  tested negative!


  1. So sorry, hope all is well for your FIL. We are in total lock down here and cannot leave the house without a permit. I just hope we get back to normal earlier than expected. Cheers and stay safe Diane

  2. best wishes to you and yours too Diane.

  3. Best wishes Brian, get well soon...

  4. Sorry to hear this-wish you & your family the best. Must be so frustrating not getting out but all your family's health is the priority.

    A very sobering time for the global community. Always enjoy your photos.