Sunday, 17 August 2008

Like buses aren't they!

Working all day Saturday, I felt that I had to get out on the Sunday (10th) and I inexplicably found myself on the A2 once again heading East. Incredible as it may seem I chose to go past the Grain turn off and head towards Sheppey. A few preliminary stops to pass away the low tide doldrums produced good numbers of Greenshank, a few Golden Plover and Marsh Harriers at Funton and Lower Halstow. A quick prayer at the church in Lower Halstow for good fortunes and birding and then off along the Elmley track where I exchanged mobile numbers with the THREE JOHNS as a precaution to potential latter events. The windy but dry walk down to the hides was reasonably uneventful and Milvus free. The tide was slowly coming up and on arrival at the Wellmarsh Hide I squeezed in at the back behind the AGP hopefuls. A Spotted Redshank and Ruff were good to see but little else!
Ten minutes of Pluvialis invisiblis I made an executive decision to go to Southfleet Hide with anyone else that cared to join me!
As I wandered off alone in my Billy no mates mode, the ten minutes to the hide flew past as did a Kestrel. Once in the hide I had to literally nudge my way into place amongst the gathered throng of empty seats and continued to wonder whether I'd made a mistake or not. Mobile reception was a little patchy and I placed the phone above the door as there was a signal there.
No sooner had I settled down than Valentino Rossi of the RSPB bike world appeared in front of me in hot pursuit of the cattle. Now, all the birds that appeared to be present from my hide were flying towards Wellmarsh. B*ll**** I thought! Incredibly the birds returned and finally at 1841 following a distant Red Kite and a few other waders to keep me busy the American Golden Plover appeared at the back of the flood. The second one this year that I'd seen in Kent , just like buses you wait ages for them then see two!!
With the mobile at the ready the Wellmarsh troops were summoned via the THREE JOHNS network and incredibly like an Olympian, Mike Buckland appeared 'minutes' later setting the new Wellmarsh to Southfleet Cycling sprint record shortly followed by a mass of birders that quickly filled the hide with much wheezing and breathlessness! The bird fortunately reappeared and all enjoyed the event. No more was I Billy no mates!
Andy Appleton is evidently either stunned by his second AGP of the season or has found that protruding nail in the wooden bench.
A very very poor shot of the bird, it's the small non whitish blurred bit in the middle!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Andy Appleton was 'trying' to keep out of the picture!!!

Barry said...

Well it was a pretty poor attempt wasn't it. Good piccie of Ray O'Reilly and John Tilbrook though!