I'd finished doing the patch by about 10am. Willow Warbler, yee-hah!! Soon after I got in, my favourite Pallid Swift reappeared at Kessingland. What great news! Shaun rang, would I like to try again? Hmmm, whilst lunch with Hilbs and co had been booked up for several weeks, I did have the rather antisocial option of ducking out it if a rare bird turned up. Naturally I decided I would go, and called Shaun back. I got my stuff together, and as I was about to leave, I had a change of heart. There will be another Pallid Swift, and it is basically a washed out Common Swift and thus boring. Nope, I was going to have lunch with my friends, as planned. I called Shaun back, hoping I hadn't delayed him by too much.
Lunch was great, and until the inevitable text came through, I didn't think very much about the Swift. Oh well, you can't get them all. Off to the playground just next door to Hilbs, and then the mega alert. From Suffolk. Lesser Kestrel. Fourteen miles and twenty minutes from the Pallid Swift. Noooooooooo!!!!!! Shaun and the guys turned around, made it back, and got the bird. A two tick day, and the Kestrel is a real mega, only sixteen records, and the last twitchable one was on Scilly in 2002. Most of them are fly throughs or one-dayers. I am sitting here gutted, which is ridiculous. You can't see them all, but I was so nearly in that car. And as for being magnanimous? Hah! Magnanimous is not in a twitcher's lexicon! "Well done lads, great bird!" Gah!! No, this is the stuff true grips are made of, and the next birders drinks are not far away! I fear I shall be forced to pull out my Blue-cheeked Bee-Eater again. Can't use the Fea's Petrel as Monkey was with me for that one...
There is no adequate or rational way to describe my feelings this afternoon. It's difficult to just shrug the shoulders and move on, though I am going to have to grow up and do just that. But before I do, I should mention the Lesser Kestrel that very fortunately dropped in to Wanstead just as I got home from lunch. What were the chances?!
On the small side perhaps, but I can't think what else it could be.