Sunday, 6 September 2009

Ortolan causes havoc on public right of way

I had planned to head out to Happisburgh, but my intentions at the start of the year were to be a little more ruthless and pick up more new birds; after all, seeing them in the flesh will be of benefit when I find my own, right?!
On arrival there were already a small group on the east bank footpath, so I joined the queue and waited until those at the front had their fill. One or two miserable sods proceeded to enter the ditch and push to the front. I watched one guy do this who on arrival at 'the front' didn't even bother to help look for the bird! After a wait, I was in prime position to see the bird. It crept onto the path and appeared to feed- brilliant! Ortolan Bunting seen in Norfolk. The drama was not over: a husband and wife combo barged through the group and headed towards the Bunting! Perhaps a little tact was necessary here rather than "where the f*ck do you think you're going" from someone, but still, surely this wasn't happening?! Further cries of "selfish b*stard" emanated from the core of the crowd, but walk on they did, claiming it was their right of way. Yes, it was, but could they have walked down an adjacent track? Anyway, they flushed the bird which looped round in the air for a bit before thankfully landing back on the track, showing even better than before. Always thought he was a top bloke....
Fantastic bird, but the cavalry reminded me why I tend not to twitch all that often. Yes, the bloke was a pratt but then so were most of the crowd. Does this make me a pratt? Don't answer that.
Seawatching had always been my intention today, but by the time I got over to Cley I had missed the best of it. I watched for 2 hours and saw little bar Gannets, Dunlin and Oystercatchers. No Skuas for me, gutting.
Jimmy's Farm music festival next week, could be difficult to crowbar in some birding, which isn't good with NE winds predicted from Thursday.

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