Sunday, 2 December 2012

Spinning Around

5 hours of scrub clearance at the Nunnery Lakes this morning failed to yield the hoped-for fly-over Peregrine, or any other outside chances of an addition to the list. 4 Waxwings did fly over instead but unfortunately they chose to do so when we were wielding loppers rather than bins, resulting in less-than-satisfactory views.

As I wandered, daydreaming, back home in the stunning afternoon light, a phone call from Pete Wilson suddenly shook me into action: he was watching a Grey Phalarope at Livermere!! I believe the phrase is 'Shit the bed!'. It was 2:23pm. I was 15 minutes walk from home, 35 minutes pedal from Livermere. Factoring in 'Lycra-donning' time, I knew this was going to be close! At least it was sunny, so I'd have until 4ish.

Fortunately the morning's exertions - and the run home - meant I was warm enough to face the 15mph windchill factor on a day when the frost still hadn't melted by mid afternoon, and I was at Livermere by just after 3:30pm without getting frostbite. Better still, the Grey Phalarope (167) was performing swimmingly, spinning like a whirling dervish in a circle no bigger than a dinner plate. Awesome!
More phonescoping magic... this time courtesy of Jonny Rankin

Operating on the descretion/valour principle, I decided to leave before 'last knockings' at the gull roost. Saddling up was interrupted by a shout from Jonny though, and - bang! - Peregrine (168) was on the list, at long last!

The ride home was second only to this one in coldness - if any local birders (or anyone else) saw me standing by the roadside trying to warm my hands by shoving them down my cycling shorts, I can only apologise.

ps A little more eclectic musical reference in the post title than some of the offerings we've had this year, though I guess one or two Jerkers may have to Google it!

Percentage of target to date - 108%
Distance cycled - 646.2mls / 1,040.0km
Latest addition -  Peregrine (168) 2 December

1 comment: