Sunday 5 October 2014

What was I thinking?

I had a minor fit today, and ended up at Dungeness. I'm going to see a specialist tomorrow, and expect to be declared clinically insane. That said, I can see the attraction, as Dungeness isn't really about Gulls at all. It's about a fat breakfast, and then sitting around in comfy chairs for the rest of the day talking rubbish.

I skipped the breakfast part (my body is a temple), and met the guys at the beach. Parking up, I lifted my camera off the back seat and headed off to the fishing boats. I'd got about half way there when I realised I was on my own, and looked back to find that Mick and Richard were still unloading the car. Oh My God. In my absence, Gull photography has reached a whole new level. It used to be a couple of loaves of bread, but no longer. The ante has been well and truly upped. Armchairs. Buckets of fish. Crates. 8m3 of popcorn, and enough bread to create a floating bridge to France. I watched, bemused - practically speechless in fact - as all of this was loaded onto a massive trolley (itself another new development) which was then hauled across the shingle and down to the shore. At the other end, it was all dutifully unpacked, carefully positioned, and then we all sat down, Mick having been kind enough to bring a third armchair for me. I hadn't realised, but Gull photography at Dungeness merely involves carting a shit-load of crap you don't need down the beach and then doing nothing.

A small proportion of the epic amount of necessary gear

A whole new level. LOWER.

After witnessing the above, a Gull vomits into a sick bucket
It was very pleasant, barring the stench of dead fish, guts, diseased lobsters and the aroma of stale cinema. The Gulls mimicked the photographers by sitting around doing jack all, and so both birds and bird-lovers had a glorious and very relaxing day in the warm sunshine. I did at least give the shutter a bit of a workout, as for quite a lot of the day the light was pretty easy. Highlights were a second year Caspian, which Rich B picked out way ahead of Mick - he really needs to up his game -  and a Dunlin which I missed even though it was there for an hour. I may have been asleep, I can't remember.

Soporific is the best way to describe the day. Nothing happened at all. The most exciting part of the day was when I found a nearly round pebble. Whilst I had thought Mick and Richard were suffering from a bit of a lack of imagination, I now know that in fact that they have been very busy indeed. What used to be a bit of a joke, "Oh, Dunge again!", is now a quasi-military operation. Most amusingly, nobody had told the Gulls, and Mick didn't take a single photo all day - he needs help. I'm going to start a Just Giving page I reckon, see if we can raise enough money to send him to a clinic or something.

Yellow-legged Dull