5 September 2010

August Bank Holiday Weekend (part two)

...After Saturdays events, I chose to spend the Sunday at home and give my neglected other half my undivided attention. There was nothing doing in the UK to tempt me away and I swiftly squeezed back into the good books! Weather conditions were however looking good for a sea-watch so Monday morning saw Mikipedia and myself being battered by a very brisk northerly at Cley, Norfolk! Very quickly we decided against this option and headed to Sheringham to join the throng of birders in the shelter. Meeting up with Joe Ray & Matt Meehan, we gave it a good couple of hours but despite other birders in the shelter claiming to have seen all sorts of goodies, we only scored with an handful of Bonxies and Arctic Skuas! With news hitting me like a bleedin' steam train that a CITRINE WAGTAIL was being watched at Ogston Res', Derbys, AN EIGHT MINUTE DRIVE FROM MY HOUSE IN TIBSHELF(!), I was inevitably getting itchy feet and considered heading back to the midlands there & then. But with the bird already into it's 3rd day of residence and Mike's reassuring words that 'it'll be there when we get back, it's a banker!'' we decided to stack the seawatching and head back to Cley in order to bag ourselves a Short-toed Lark. The 300yd walk along Blakeney Point from Cley Coastguards was in reality a 1/2 mile slog! A few birders were milling around looking for the bird but it hadn't been seen for a while. Some came, had a brief 5 minute scan and then left, some hung about and wandered around the area the bird had last been seen in an attempt to put it up, some just had a bit of a kip and others just casually chatted amongst themselves, appearing to be not that bothered if they saw the bird or not. For me tho, I wasn't ready for giving up, I wanted to bag the bird and bomb back to Derbys! After a while, not sure how long, our attention was drawn to a bloke, waving his arms around and gesturing for us that he'd got the bird! We ran, well walked fast, over to him but again, the bird had flown and had been lost to view. Very quickly, the enthusiasm abated again and after a further hour or so, I was about to do one, having had enough of waiting/searching but with a very casual last scan east I picked up a very pale lark flying back onto the shingle ridge about 600yds from us! We once again 'walked fast' over to the spot where the bird had appeared to land but before we could locate it on the ground, it flew again and headed back onto the marsh south of the bank! One intrepid birder ventured over the channel and again put the bird up but this time it flew further south and lost to view. With only flight views gained, I really did want another look but with the Citrine Wag appearing on the pager, I opted to leave and head home...Two & half hours later we were at Ogston! The bird had been last seen c45 minutes prior to our arrival. Feeling pretty confident that it would show again (not!), we gave it almost two hours but alas there was no further sign by 8pm! Mike HAD to get back home to get some work done so the curtains were drawn on a pretty disappointing weekend.
The next morning, I arrived at Ogston at 6am and had another hour or so searching in vain for the Wagtail but as is beginning to become routine, there was no sign of it! To top it all off, Wednesday morning I received a letter from 'The Law' informing me that one of their kind boys in blue had gatzo'd me Saturday morning in Hull doing 51mph in a 40mph zone on a dual carriageway! On reflection of the weekend, that guy was a lot better than me at being in the right place at the right time!

Above - A sea-watching Blakeney Hobbit utilising Joe's knee!

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