23 August 2010

Semi-Peed off...

Sunday 22nd August, mid morning, saw myself and Mikipedia (AKA The Marquis, Mike Feely) heading towards Alkborough in north Lincs. The West-Midlands Botanist, Archie Archer, was meant to be joining us but again cried off at the last minute, this time giving some lame excuse about a ceiling that needed a lick of Dulux and that we were going far too early (how wrong would he to be with that comment?!). Anyhow, we arrived at Alkborough Flats just after lunch (undoubtedly collecting a speeding fine on the M180 en route) and proceeded to scan the 'flats' for the Semi-P' Sand. Unfortunately after a good three hours of seeing mainly f*ck all I got bored and decided to do one home! Now here's where the bit of luck kicked in - Approaching Scunthorpe, my well trained & primed McDonalds radar located a gleaming 'Golden Arches' towering above the horizon and feeling a bit peckish I inevitably headed directly towards them! A good 20 minute feed was had before we proceeded along the M180, M18 and M1. As we approached J31 of the M1, Mikipedia informed me that the Semi-P had turned up at Alkborough! W*nk! I was in no position to turn around tho' as I had promised my other half an evening of food, drink and cinema. Approaching J30 however, at around 5.10pm, that sound that you don't really wanna hear when you've set a date with your missus began to fill the car! Mike then read out the message - ''MEGA SHARP-TAILED SAND at Patrington Haven''. Now being less than 10 minutes from Tibshelf, my missus at home pacing up and down awaiting my return, my clothes all ironed and the film at the cinema only an hour away from commencing, I had very little choice but to go straight home. Unfortunately for her, I kinda exited the motorway at J30, did a half circuit of the junction and re-entered the M1, heading back north. Now if we hadn't had that MC. Donalds stop, I would have been at home and would never have been able to escape! Lady Luck, you've got beautiful breasts, Mwah! x
Right then, we arrived at Patrington some time around 6.30pm, ran, jogged then walked the track east to the bank where the assembled birders were gathered and got stuck in! There were an awful lot of birds out there, mainly Dunlin and Curlew Sands (267), and despite the best efforts of quite a few twats to get us on to the wrong bird, namely several Dunlin, we eventually located the target. A few seconds of obscured viewing was cut short when the whole flock got up but luckily, they quickly settled and this time the Sharp-Tailed Sand (268) landed on a very small sliver of mud with two Dunlin and gave distant but decentish views for around 10 minutes. At around 7.15pm the flock again took to the air and I decided I'd better get back home to attempt to salvage the evening/my relationship! As we reached the motor, we found out that the bird had headed out on to the Humber and had been lost to view! Sweet!! The looks on the arriving birders faces as they read that message on their pagers said it all! Anyhow, it transpired that my 'arch' year-listing, albeit, friendly rival, Archer had decided after all to head NE and was currently NOT seeing a Semi-P' at Alkborough. He remained until dark I hear and was last seen climbing over the safety barrier half way along the Humber Bridge...

Sharp-Tailed Sand roosting and the assembled throng (centre bird)

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