Brilliant. At 11am, having cleaned the fridge, thrown out all the 'best before 2009' jars of god knows what, and hung up yet another load of washing, I had a quick look at the web to check for birding goodies. Greater Yellowlegs in Northants! Could I get there and back before the school pick up? A quick look at the distances involved, and it looked pretty doable. Less than a hundred miles, which would give me an hour window, and waders generally stay out in the open and very visible on inland reservoirs. The twitch was on! Pudding, get your shoes on!!
Picked up Hawky en-route, and despite the best efforts of the M1, made good time up there. A short stroll from the carpark and there it was in all its glory. Tick and run! Made a couple of facetious comments about it looking remarkably similar to a Greenshank, and how the legs looked less intensely yellow than I was expecting, and continued to look at it uncritically for about half an hour, like you do. Time was up, had to leave. Tick and run, what a superb bird, a great addition to my list, hope it flies away now, etc.
Made good time on the way back, and was looking forward to updating Bubo and gripping all my mates off, who incidentally were all busy hatching plans to twitch it after work. Arrived at the school with ten minutes to spare, feeling pretty good. A successful twitch! Then my phone went off....
I stared at the message in disbelief. It can't be! Can it? No, it can't be, there were loads of people there and I didn't hear anyone mention anything. A standard twitch then. Turn up, see what you are expecting to see, and leave again. Genius. I am of course guilty as hell. I left fully satisfied, as you do. Apparently after we left it had a bit of a fly around, revealing a rather lovely white vee up the back. Who knew that Greenshanks can have funny legs? The whole of Birdforum apparently. A few distant fuzzy shots of the bird on the deck are now in circulation, and the internet birding community are falling over themselves to say how obvious a Greenshank it is etc etc. As everyone knows, the best birders are the ones who never actually leave their houses.
Anyway, a great way to spend the day, and an excellent use of £30 of diesel. I am of course having a bit of laugh at my own foolishness, it would be churlish not to. I could be pissed off, and I suppose partly I am, but it's actually pretty funny when you think about it, and I'm sure none of my mates will rib me at all. It does of course reinforce my belief that twitching is a mug's game. And that I am one of the finest mugs there is.
|For ID purposes.....|