21 Aug 2008

Grip back!

See that little counter to the right of the blog giving my list totals? Well its just gone up by one! Audouin's Gull - oml, nfi, utb. Call it what you will its now officially on my British list. Not withstanding a little help from Al Orton. Good on yer mate. Working in Brigg gave me the opportunity to try again today for the Audouin's even though it wasn't seen yesterday. After spending the day nervously checking the pager whilst at Brigg yesterday I decided to give it a go after my meeting first thing this morning and duly arrived on site at 10.30 to find I was the only birder present!

I spent 3 hours trudging up and down the beach with nothing but a couple of Arctic and a single Pomarine Skua to show for my efforts. Gasping for a drink I headed back to the car to find a group of birders stood on the dunes. They told me of a White-winged Black Tern at 'nearby' Covenham Reservoir so I decided to go there and try for a picture.

20 miles up the road and Al rings:

'You got it mate?'.
'Got what?'
'The Audouin's, its back on the beach'

Holy sh*t - I hadn't got the pager message!!! A quick U turn and I was charging back burning rubber down towards the Wolla Bank car park. I'm out the car and running. Forget the 'scope its binoculars only!
There's one birder present and he knows nothing about it. A quick phonecall & it transpires I'm at the wrong car park. 2 minutes later in a cloud of dust and with brake discs glowing I'm sprinting down the beach where two birders were standing watching the gull. Kindly letting me use their scopes I watched the gull for awhile before heading back to get my camera. Never since my quondam days playing rugby have I ever felt so physically sick as after that sprint in jeans, boots and on sand!

So there it as - after the disappointment of Monday, grip back! Who dares wins! Perfect views of a perfect bird. None of this ticking dodgy gulls miles out to sea for me. For once I made the right decision. Eventually a few other birders turned up and with the twitch now numbering 8 people the Audouin's decided to fly leisurely back out to sea and I headed for home with the CD player on full blast with the succesful twitch anthem of Greendays Jesus of Suburbia rattling my dehydrated brain in my skull.

My apologies to the picnicing couple who had their sandwiches covered in flying dust and sand and their fresh air contaminated by smouldering brake pads in the car park!

Glossary: oml - on my list, utb - under the belt, nfi - no further interest or words to that effect.

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