Jesus. Whilst I am delighted that the team have scored and scored big, I am understandably finding it rather hard that I wasn't there. These things happen of course, and it is only a bird, but to have thrashed around for nearly a week for very little reward and then depart the day before my carload bump into a dream bird is a bitter pill to swallow. I put in all the effort, all the time, gave it as long as I could give it and missed out. You could see it coming obviously, I know I did. But to have it actually happen, well....that's a different thing entirely. Good blogging material mind you.
As well as working on a presentation this morning I also drafted a blog post, before I heard this news. It was about how I was mildly pissed off with seeing fewer birds than I thought I could have seen given both the weather and what there was, how hard graft had not delivered, and so how on the next trip I was simply going to stay down south and twitch everything with rapturous abandon in a steamy tick-fest. Now I don't know what to think. Clearly finding rare birds is possible. I knew that. I still know that. The lads were doing nothing different today then they and I did over the last week. We thrashed plantations, we checked sheltered spots, we peered over fences, we walked down burns, we fell over in iris beds. In doing this non-stop for a week we found nothing noteworthy at all. I flew home, and the next day, without me, they did find something noteworthy. Very noteworthy. Different league noteworthy. I'm not interested in having my name in lights or referenced in a report, that's not my bag at all. I'm just as happy if not happier papping Fulmars, but nonetheless I do feel that I have missed out and that it is all a little unfair.
I'll live of course. Anyone who has been within 100m of a UK Tropicbird and still goes birding is clearly highly resilient, and I am level-headed enough to accept the c'est la vie nature of it all. I can have no complaints really. I had to come off as I had no leave left. And I had no leave left because I had used it all up seeing a procession of amazing birds all over the world. You pays yer money, you makes yer choice, or something along these lines. And that's entirely fair enough, I did make that choice, and I'm still glad I did. I'm gutted to have missed out, but that extra day (or days, watch this space!!) that 'cost' me so to speak, that was not a day that in my view I wasted, and so I do not feel especially sorry for myself.
Blog readers however are invited to feel extremely sorry for me, and to post messages of unadulterated sympathy and support in the comments section. You never know, one day YOU might be in need of karma....
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