Sunday, 23 January 2011

Pain and Pleasure

Joe called out: "Did you see the Curlews?". Me, internally: "AAARRRRRRGGHHHHHH! I have never seen Curlew around Cuddesdon". Externally, with excessive calm: "No... where were they?"
Joe: "They were around for about a week".
Me, internally: "Noooooo! It gets worse". Externally: "Oh.... really?"
Joe: "They were on the football pitch behind your house".
Me, internally:"AAARRRRRRGGGGHHHH, he's turning the knife now! How bad can this get?"
Joe: "Look I've got some photos on my camera"
Me, internally: "mmmmmnnnnnmmmm*******"
And they they were. 4 Curlew. About 120 metres from my house. For a week and unseen by me. The pain. The pain.

Today the floods are as big as I've seen them, but frustratingly devoid of birds: 2 Mute Swan, 2 Mallard, 2 Wigeon and 2 Gadwall and that's it.  Still there are some Gulls towards Chippinghurst, so I follow the floods south.

And then suddenly an unfamiliar call. I get onto a small bird flicking through the riverside tree tops and am surprised to find myself looking at a flying wader. The first Snipe of the winter? No! A short bill, white belly and all dark underwing - it's a Green Sandpiper. It then turns away from me revealing a nice white rump: Green Sandpiper, a completely unanticipated Cuddesdon first! And a huge stroke of luck too. A singing Nuthatch in Denton is only my second record too and rounds off the morning nicely.

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