Sunday, July 04, 2004

Greater Sand Plover

As I've said before, it is sometimes nice to go and see an interesting bird, even if it is Out Of Area. So this afternoon I drove up to Norfolk with Mike to Snettisham to see a moulting summer-plumaged Greater Sand Plover. ("I'm thinking of going for this sand plover, and you're going to drive!" - this is fair enough, since MJW has given me plenty of lifts in the past).

Presumably this is the sand plover sp. which was seen flying south at Spurn, East Yorkshire, yesterday.

Things didn't look very promising to start with, since a) it was bucketing down with rain on the way there, and b) when we got to the RSPB car-park, there were about four cars in it - where was everyone??!

Me: There aren't many people here, are there?
MJW: No.

After some staring out at the Wash for a while (tide miles away), and a text from Mark 'Wardy' Ward, we decided to go down to the 'beach car-park' (with Sophie from Holme Observatory), where we found a fair-sized crowd and the Greater Sand Plover. YOU BEAUTY!

The light was pretty bad and the bird a bit distant for digiscoping, especially on my magnification. It's sometimes hard to stop digiscoping and remind yourself you're there to enjoy the sight of a rare and beautiful bird. When you have the kit, it seems churlish not to try for some photos, but when they're this bad...

This is my 'best' record shot:

Greater Sand Plover, Charadrius leschenaultii

There are much better pics on Surfbirds at the moment (and better to come, I'm sure). There were plenty of birding luminaries and acquaintances there - Nigel Blake, Graham Catley, Paul Hackett, Lee Evans...

On the way back to the car, we said hello to Trevor, Jane and Dan Williams, Will Bowell and Bob Titman from PBC. It was just starting to rain again, but by the time we hit King's Lynn, it was sunny...

Euro 2004 conclusion
There weren't nearly enough decent mullets to be seen, especially after the groups, but Greece have just won the tournament, 1-0 against the hosts, Portugal!

Cristiano Ronaldo is sobbing into his shirt.

I think I may have just won the sweepstake at work (guess how many goals would be scored, including penalties). Considering how little I know about football, this would be some feat indeed. I will wait and see tomorrow. Not holding my breath.

On a slight downer, my telly's just blown up...

What's in my CD player: Guerilla - Super Furry Animals