2nd November 2011
Operation Daylate began in the early hours of Monday morning. It was a typical early morning jaunt with a local fox carrying a rat and a Barn Owl seen on route to the secret airfield hidden on an Industrial estate somewhere in North Yorkshire. Skylarks could be heard as the other members of the group arrived as dawn broke. The air was full of expectation. The pilot arrived, the mission was set. We lounged in the easy chairs or paced the worn carpets of the reception area. We waited for word. Communications, so vital to the success of the mission, were checked and re checked. Our 'eyes on the ground' was in position, waiting, searching. As the minutes rolled by anxiety started to show. Still no word. Another group had travelled by sea and would now be on site but still no intell. Contigencies were discussed as the minutes turned into hours with still no sign of our objective. Things were becoming serious, we could not longer hide our disappointment with the odd witty remark or tales of twitches past. Deadlines were set and reset but 'GO' never came, the Siberian Rubythroat had gone. The mission was aborted - a day too late. The views of Squacco heron at Attenborough Nature Reserve on the way back were no consolation.