Wednesday 22nd July 2009
'We're on the road to nowhere' Who did sing that popular little ditty? I really should know that but my memory for such things is not what it should be. When I go to the brewery tonight I'll bet at least 4 of our little ensemble will know.
Anyway about yesterday. Decided to have a potter round Mill pool, Alvecote but didn't get very far before my pager told me I should be thinking about trying to get a lift to Kent. I put the notion to the back of my mind and continued to focus on the four Common terns circling round the pool in a strong wind. The pager messages continued. The Blue cheeked Bee eater was sitting in a bush, flying out to sea, showing well. The bird was clearly a bit flighty, best to stay in good old Warks. and look for a female/juv Marsh Harrier or as they call them in several other counties Black Kites.
The pager was playing with my mind as the Bee eater messages kept coming in. The bird was flighty but kept coming back to the same area. A guy called Dan from Staffs was offering a lift to Kent. Go for it. I met Dan Pointon on the M69 and we set off for the M1, M25 etc. Dan was in contact with a number of friends who were either already there or on route so we were pretty well informed on what was going on. As we drove through Northants the news was that the bird had gone missing. It had done this before so we decided to journey on. As we got to the M25 there was still no further sign so the fact that we were travelling at crawl speed didn't matter too much. When we did reach the Dartford tunnel the bird had not been seen for 2 hours so it seemed sensible ( if you can use that word regarding twitching ) to stop at Thurrock services and wait for news as well as avoid the long tailback of traffic going through the Dartford tunnel.
I think Thurrock services would confuse the most sophisticated of Sat. navs which might account for the fact that it wasn't particularly busy. Another reason might be the extortionate price of drinks: a small coffee £2.79, a small bottle of water £1.99. So we sat there not drinking coffee watching people imitating pythons as they hyper extended their jaws in trying to consume a Mega-burger without getting yellowy gunge on their best driving up and down the M25 outfits. Dan and I also talked about all things birding; people, twitches, suppression, even birds. At one point went along the South coast recalling the rare birds that had occurred at the various headlands but I think we drew a blank when we came to most of Sussex. I can remember not remembering where Winspit was/is. Anyway at 6.00pm we got back in the car and headed home. Cheers Dan, nice to meet you. As for the Blue cheeked Bee eater, its probably sitting on a dead branch of an Oak tree at Alvecote waiting for Roy to find it.