Monday, 7 March 2016
Hail, New Year Ticks and a RSPB Legend
Wednesday 2nd March light NW Heavy hail showers
Heavy hail showers occasionally hit me as I cycle back to the North Norfolk coast. My shower cap over my cycling helmet protects my scalped scalp from the hail.
Another try for the lone golden pheasant male at Wolferton is as successful as when myself and the Coppice 'Birding Clams' group used to try every time we went birding to Norfolk in the 80s and 90s, that is not successful at all. I just hope it doesn't become a piece of Norfolk roadkill before I can get back here in May.
To Titchwell RSPB reserve to ask fr new RSPB logo laminates to put on the bike. I like people to know why I am doing this, to raise the profile, to advertise and hopefully raise some money (hint!) for the RSPB. To my great surprise I am offered not only a coffee but cake and a chicken roll as well! Thanks Richard and Frances, Sue and Pam.
Sue is a World big lister, that is she travels the world seeing as many birds as possible. Sue is off to Estonia and Lithuania next week. Here's a link to her blog for more information.
The red-crested pochards are said to be out of the reedbed and on view on Patsy's Pool so I make my way there. Nine of them are on the pool, another for the list. A RSPB volunteer, Paul Fisher, is sitting there and we talk about birds and I realise that I am in the presence of an absolute legend. Paul is a lovely man who has a proud history with the RSPB, helping to create so many reserves around South Essex, as the regional project manager.
Interested in my quest, Paul asks me what else I need for the year list and as I say “hen harrier” blow me if one appears in front of us. The moment went like this:
“What else do you need?”
“Hen harrier, like that one there!”
Brilliant. This photograph of the ringtail doesn't do it justice but it soon goes behind some trees and is gone.
Maybe I should have said pallid harrier.
We talk for over an hour in the cold before deciding that the conversation could be carried on more comfortably in the cafe.
Both of us are old men, both of us long time birders but we stop when there is a robin at our feet quietly singing away to itself.
We chat until we are thrown out! A wonderful, inspirational man.
So the year list is still at 177, twenty two ahead of this time last year.
44.68 Miles 1247 feet elevation up 1243 feet elevation down