It’s been ages hasn’t it?
Well, before I talk about anything new, let’s finish off Norfolk.
We had a plan about where we were going to be sleeping and so on, so we thought the best thing to do would be to change our minds completely and do something we hadn’t even considered. We drove to Titchwell and slept in a hide.
Excellent idea. First, it’s free. Second, you get to be on the reserve at daybreak the next morning. Downsides were A) I kept thinking someone would see us and tell us off and we’d have to run away. B) That we’d sleep so soundly that we’d wake up to find early morning birders looking at us.
Anyway, we arrived at Titchwell. I drove quietly into the carpark and we quietly grabbed the stuff we needed from the boot. Robert decided to go find a lavvie to use. The rest of us had got all our stuff and were waiting for Robert tocome back when we heard what sounded like someone talking over a radio. What kind of person carries a radio? The rozzers, that’s who. A person was walking towards us with a torch. We stood, biting our fingers to the bone. It was Robert. The radio sounds we’d heard were actually a recorded message played by the toilets on entry. We sighed in relief.
We tiptoed to the nearest hide, chose our quarter of the floor, and laid down to sleep.
I awoke around 4.00 the next morning and surveyed the hide. It was very wet outside. I turned my sleeping bag into a cloak, and we went to a hide. I can’t remember what it was called. After a while Robert and Stephen left. Me and Jess saw some Little Gulls and some other stuff, until our patience was rewarded by the appearance of a Temminck’s Stint, my second and Jess’ first. Thus embolded by our view, we went to find Rob and Steve.
Our walk was enhanced by cracking views of a Cetti’s Warbler, which took our minds briefly off the foul drizzle. Robert and Steve were in the car when we found them, and the topic turned to the weather. Specifically, was there anything we could do in Norfolk during constant unremitting rain? No. There wasn’t. Norfolk famously possesses no attractions or distractions that are inside. We thought about driving home, which seemed partly like a good idea, and partly a bit like we were wasting our time here. Just then an idea occured to me. The previous day, Cillian Murphy told us the Roller had been refound in East Yorkshire. If it was still there, then that would be well worth going back to see. Robert googled frantically, and soon discovered the Roller had been seen only minutes previously. Without prompting, we all executed a group high-five (amazing considering two people were in the car and two were outside) and set off.
We drove to Aldbrough. It was quite obvious where to park up as suddenly the verges of the road were covered in cars and serious looking men wearing green gilets. We walked over to a man with a scope who told us where to look. We looked. We saw it. It was awesome. I was struck by its resemblance to a big, buff, steriod-abusing kingfisher. It was quite possibly one of the most attractive birds I’ve ever seen in the wild. Will it be my top bird of the year? Who knows? Anyway, visit here for a picture Stephen took of it in flight.
Hopefully there will be more posts soon. Keep an eye out.