While 'His Nibs' has become transfixed with Willow Tits 'Yours Truly' has made her escape to the caravan on and off this past few weeks ... He will not be trapped in this little tin and plastic box if the weather is wet - where as I can sit here through thick and thin and find stuff to do: new slideshows; chatting via email; reading a good book; sleeping; checking the email; reading the goss; tidying and hoovering; texting; checking the email again ... I can spend days at it but I have to admit recently its become a war of attrition with the weather and its even wearing thin with me ... With the last high tides of the spring on at the moment I got up and dashed down to Teal Bay at Morecambe to see if its as good as it used to be 30 plus years ago. And the answer is its about the same really - the birds are that bit too far for the camera - you're on the edge of reality trying to take photos here but I didn't let that stop me as I was getting stir crazy for want of feeling the camera in my hands!
There was no-one birding when I arrived (could be a bad sign?) but by the time I had turned round a photographer had appeared in the spot I wanted to be in and was setting up ... oh well I was sure there would be room for a little one - and if not a little one - then how about a big-'un like me?!!! I walked back and began grinning as we recognised each other - low and behold - it was Gordon Yates from the far east of Lancashire ... I was tempted to ask him had he got his permit to be over here!! The tide came in, the birds shuffled a bit and we spent an hour and half chatting and catching up with a little bit of desultory photography thrown in when something moved!
The tide didn;t quite reach the wall: a few curlew flew off to the fields like they always used to whilst everything else tried to sleep with one eye open! As dinnertime approached Gordon declared he had to go as he was meeting his good lady for lunch: I promised I wouldn;t 'bag up' with mind blowing shots once he had gone (and I didn;t)! There was a bit of activity when a pair of greater black backs came 'sailing in' and pulled out onto uncovered rocks: the nearby smaller stuff and even the wigeon were not keen on these two big bullies in such close proximity.
Then it was the gulls turn to look up and jump as something bigger in every way landed like a huge rumpled feather duster - a grey heron - cleared the area around him as he landed and shook himself into a presentable tidy appearance and settled down for a rest while looking a bit fed up!
A handful of starlings arrived to sit in the sun among the waders and they preened and sang and even imitated a wader call or two!
Eventually I realised the tide was dropping back again and everything would soon leave so I left instead. I called in at Hest Bank a spot I used to visit a lot when I first began birding back in the 1970's - it used to have big flocks of oystercatcher and curlew but now the grass was empty and seemed to end much closer to the track than before - so if the sea has 'chonked' bits out of it until it is reduced in width then that will be why the birds have abandoned it: it looks like the creeks have disappeared and its now possible for folk to walk out on it leaving no room or peace for birds to roost over the high tide. There was a problem with windsurfing in the bay there too which 'trapped' the birds between one set of humans and another which they don;t accept. So although this area was purchased by the RSPB I would think its now no longer doing the job they bought it for and if it hasn't been sold off then maybe it should be? I dunno as I haven;t looked into its status of recent years so I could be talking rubbish again!
The trapped pools of water had a Little Egret fishing them though and brought me two images that I am quite pleased with ... but that was the sum total of the day camera-wise ... I returned to the van and sat outside in the sun to eat my flask of soup and have a little nod whilst thinking about dozing redshank on the rocks ... the little post prandial sleep is allowed at my age!