Tuesday, 27 May 2008
Sand-tastic - Rutland Water 27/05/2008
Back to proper work today after driving home from a wet and windy Devon last night. We'd been there this weekend to drop off the kids with their grandparents for the week. I already knew that I'd missed Fulmar at Rutland Water and was not expecting a chance to try today even if it was still about. However, a text from John Hague mid-morning eclipsed any thoughts of Fulmar - a Stilt Sandpiper had been found on Lagoon 1. FUCK! I've seen Stilt Sand before but this would be a major county tick for everybody. Even so, I couldn't justify leaving work too early. I left at 15:30 to pick up Nichola from home (in the newly arrived Vectra Estate) and we set off for RW with the intention of me seeing the sandpiper and then we'd have a beer or two with a pub meal (the major benefit of no kids at home). Sadly we'd hardly got going before news came through the the sandpiper had fecked off. BOLLOCKS! I decided to go ahead anyway, seeing as the evening was brightening up (all relative compared to yesterday's wind and rain). We ambled down to Harrier Hide with purring Turtle Dove, gropper and a few Sedge Warblers for company. Still no sign of the Stilt Sandpiper, but some consolation for me was a superb breeding plumaged Knot. Yes - I am a tart. Can't explain why I'd never seen a Knot in the county but there you go. Now I have. I then had a very half-arsed and fruitless look for the Fulmar that had been reported as still present this morning, before we headed off to Uppingham for a couple of pints of Greene King IPA with a heart-attack inducing mixed grill. After this we headed home. In fact, I'd just passed Billesdon when my phone suddenly bleeped with a message - 'Marsh Sand on Lagoon 1 now'. WHAT? surely some mistake? A quick phone call confirmed that this was not gross dyslexia, and also that the message should have arrived an hour and a half earlier. FUCK BUGGER BOLLOCKS. Another major county first at the same site on the same day. Despite protestations from Nichola, I turned the car around and drove like a twat back to RW. I headed straight down the farm track (ensuring that my shiny new Vectra now looks like an off-roading veteran), abandoned it and Nichola and set off across the field back into Harrier Hide. Within seconds I was on the Marsh Sand - superb. What a mad day for RW. Any luck and the Stilt Sand will pop back up tomorrow and I can do it all again !!