19 Aug 2008

Audouin's causes mass hysteria and hallucination.

B*gger. Missed yesterdays Audouin's Gull by 20 minutes as it flew off to sea after spending most of the morning and afternoon loafing on a beach near Chapel Point Lincs. The third time I've d*pped this species! Despite much searching we couldn't refind it.

Pod dressed for a typical British summer. A kid asked him if he was a goblin to which he replied 'feck off, I'm not a goblin I've got a headache'.
Paul McKenna must have been performing at nearby Skegness as many people present must surely have been hypnotised to think Herring Gulls were Audouin's.

The team of Pod, Groucho and yours truly split up to search the beach after ensuring we had mobile contact. Seeing a small group (6 birds) of gulls partially hidden by a dip I walked towards them. Three Herring Gulls, a Common Gull and two Black-headed Gulls were flushed by a lady walking her dog along the strandline ( I didn't have a problem with that). Next minute a breathless birders asking me if I'd seen the Audouin's as I was looking right at it! Hmmm.

Later, as birds came to roost on the sea the shout went up that someone had got it. Groucho was first in the sprint across the sand. Forget the 'Lightning Bolt' and his 100 m gold medal - you should have seen us run in boots, fleece, coat and scope over shoulder. Another Herring Gull - a 3rd summer with a dark. bill. By now we were getting very despondent but carried on looking. Another yell. Another Herring Gull. We walked away to check out some distant gulls leaving a group of birders still umming and aghhing over this bird!

Unbelievably the news came out on the pager after dark that the bird was present at 06.45 - the same time as I was accosted by the above birder..... Even more unbeleivably, given the weather, people were swimming in the sea. The local off licence sells a good line in beer for the birder who uses their scope to check out the local talent.

I should have brought some back for the Wirral seawatchers who enjoy nothing more than watching the scantily clad female joggers passing along the sea wall at Leasowe.

Leaving well after dark we arrived home in Cheshire at 01.00 am this morning. I sat in the front with Pod whilst Groucho took his beauty nap in the back.

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