This Saturday was the mass exodus at the start of the summer holidays. Famille L joined in, driving up to Fife to dump the kids with my parents. I couldn't help noticing that East Leake, currently hosting three families of nesting Bee-eaters, was only about five miles off the M1. We don't have great history of successful family twitches, the only result anyone ever remembers is a massive detour in East Yorkshire followed by a dip and then everyone in the car being really annoyed with me. Natch.
So it was really quite a surprise when Mrs L consented without any fuss whatsoever to my suggestion of a short break in our journey. There was a minor mishap when the satnav insisted on taking us to Loughborough town centre, but I manage to correct this before getting totally snarled up and we were soon at the special RSPB car park (a field). Seeing yellow "AA" style signs advertising Bee-eaters caused some amusement (Oh Dad, birders are so sad), but the five of us were soon walking down a well-trodden path to where the birds were showing. The kids pretended to be uninterested for a while, but eventually all three of them were arguing over who got to use the scope and binoculars. Winning!
Henry saw the Isle of Wight birds a few summers ago, and I had seen a single bird on Scilly eons ago, but for the rest of them this was a new and exotic bird that they actually thought was pretty cool. Most rare birds would likely not have had the same effect, so this worked out very nicely. And for my daughters, both of whom had accompanied me to the Blue-cheeked version in Kent all those years ago, this neatly completes the set.We saw four birds for sure, and possibly five. Now I'm not saying this is the start of a new family past-time, but it was very nice indeed to all be enjoying birds together.