Wednesday, 3 February 2016
Hill after Hill to get to an American Duck
Monday 1st February fresh to strong W sunny intervals, occasional light rain 13C
There is a report of a green-winged teal at Seaton, Devon which is around twenty miles from where I am at present. With the bike ready I start the cycle. This part of Devon is very hilly and the day seems to be one long push up steep hill after steep hill and the going is tough and exhausting.
Through Budleigh Salterton, through Sidmouth and after a particularly steep and long hill climb, I reach a main road with a turn off for Beer.
Unfortunately a lack of road signs takes me down to Branscombe from which to get back on the right road for Beer there is yet another steep hill.
Beer, I find the youth hostel there and leave the panniers and sleeping bag. With an unladen bike the ride over to Seaton is not that bad and I find the reserve upon which the rare American bird has been seen.
A birder carrying a telescope comes up to me saying that we met on Shetland back in 2010. His name is Tony and together we search for the teal. I find it whilst peering through some tall reeds. Great, green-winged teal goes onto the year list, yet another really good bird; a great start to February.
Year list goes to 147, eighteen ahead of this time last year.
18.66 miles 1993 feet elevation up 1869 feet elevation down