Betcha can't guess where I was on Saturday afternoon?
The still-horrifically-cheery-after-three-days grin I'm sporting may be a small clue.
As would this awful offering;
[Please note the time stamp [if you can be bothered to look at the exif]. It is [if I recall] 1623. But more on this later.]
I say afternoon, as I was bashing the Patch in the morning and didn't find out the news until I sat down with my lunch. Tsk tsk.
I did find a singing [albeit briefly, due to assault by Common] Lesser Whitethroat at the Nose, by the way, plus some other nice things, so considered myself thoroughly vindicated in proceeding at a brisk yet legal speed up the M5...
The bird was hiding in the near left corner when I got there, but at half three - after a wait enlivened by a lovely Wood Sand plus low-flying Bittern, GWE, and Marsh Harrier, it flew out [oh, what a lovely sight!] and proceeded to first preen and then feed for 45 minutes or so. Then it and a half dozen others suddenly took off and headed high west [Dun-dun-DUN!] for what was probably seconds but felt like minutes, before equally suddenly making a hard bank and spiral into what looked like Noah's. Yes, I had bins on it the whole time.
Cue panda-monium as the crowd mostly headed off after it.
I decided I might as well be off - having had said 45 minutes, after all - when [again suddenly] half a dozen godwits arrived and dropped back amongst the main flock.
Oh look, it's back.
Gone less than 5 minutes. As I said at the time: "It's a sneaky one..."
Here's another shot;
It was still there when I left at 1630, on the left edge of the flock of 215 Blackwits [and 2 Redshank]. I didn't keep it a secret, including telling two groups I passed who thought they'd arrived too late.
Anyway, hair-splitting over rarity behaviour aside...
Oh what a lovely day! It may have rained on me, more than once, but I cared not. I do so love a happy twitch. I do so like it up there. Even better now that the RSPB have built a car park [though not perfect; there are loos - gasp, loos! - on the signs, but they're not built yet! :( ]. As well as 3 GWE, 2 Bittern and male and female M Harriers, a hatful of warblers - including my first zumerzet Wood - and my first Cuckoo of the year to boot.
Here's an earlier Hudwit;
Ok, ok enough with that...
Sunday saw day-bracketing Nose visits, with the evening trip doing much better. I even got a seawatch in! There were terns and a very confiding Whimbrel [which came in/off onto the rocks below me for a quick rest, before heading on north].
Saturday morning also saw Whimbrel - two this time, sitting about on the grassy end - very odd! Even odder that a couple of dog walkers seemingly turned aside to avoid flushing them.. Will wonders never cease? They did then flush the 4 Wheatear that were around the top of the Quarry, so maybe not an actual Sign Of The Apocalypse.
[Please excuse the gubbins on the phone lens..]
Forgot to mention on Friday, but I managed to miss the Little Terns at Dawlish Warren somehow - despite thoroughly scanning with the Big Scope and everything. I suspect SEO-related brevity may be the cause. That and them hiding up the estuary mouth, maybe? I did see at least 3 Common Terns among the Sarnies, so not all bad. Also a way-out Bonxie, the V Scoter, 2 C Scoter [past south!] and a small group of Razorbills.
Perhaps I should have stayed longer, but a [HORRIFIC PUN DELETED FOR THE SAKE OF DECENCY]
For Devon's Year [now lagging a bit further behind Britain..! ] I'm into August!
[[*Sat right by the Ledge Of Doom, btw.]]