A morning at Magor and Redwick produced very little to tootle one's trumpet about, and absolutely nothing to merit the term 'highlight'. I guess Water Rail and Cetti's Warbler were the best at Magor Marsh and Coal Tit [Yes, really?!] at Redwick. It. Was. Dire.
Despite the above, and countless other mornings at Magor seeing absolutely nothing of note, I always think this scrap of fen is going to produce; I always convince myself that a bit of habitat that good, however small, will have a gem of a phyllosc flitting amongst the willows or something secretive skulking down a ditch. It never happens but the conviction persists.
It is this sort of thing that is slowly leading me to the conclusion that, once a human has an idea lodged in some deep recess of an inner fold of their temporal lobe, it is nigh impossible to extract or replace. There the oh-so-resistant factoid sits, nestled in the grey goo, perhaps as wrong as wrong can be, but clung to, nurtured, and slowly woven into all the other, oftentimes quite unrelated, truths, half-truths and downright falsehoods. Once embedded and the mind closed around it, the belief will not be dislodged by any external force; no amount of contrary experience, evidence or carefully presented counter-argument will make an iota of difference. Perhaps opinions are complex parasites, insidious little barbed globules, exuding a complex brew of neurotoxins, to mask their irrationality and blind or instigate avoidance behaviour in the host when presented with conflicting information; and oozing neuro-relaxants to enable the host to partake of the mental gymnastics required to maintain their position. When greatly magnified, I bet they look like squidgy, stalkless purple strawberries, every seed a hair-triggered micro-harpoon with which to gain attachment and render it all but immovable.