As some of you will be aware HWIOO and I have become keen kitchen bird watchers. It seemed only reasonable that we should venture beyond the comfort of our own kitchen table to see more of our feathered friends and what better location to start than on the coast? I was assured fine views of terns, birds with bills like an item of cutlery , avocets, redshanks, sanderlings and common seals – there might, I was informed by the handy brochure, also be small woolly Hebridean s-eep (animal that tastes good after grazing on salt marsh. Remember that letter between o and q that’s missing on my keyboard). I mean what’s not to like?
The sun was shining when we arrived and since some habits are clearly hard to break the first thing we did was have a mug of tea in the beautiful cafe and viewing deck which opened last year according to the brochure. I can thoroughly recommend it. The setting was delightful, the sun shone, staff were very friendly and the views out across the salt marsh were stunning. And it ‘s less than two miles from Skegness to Gibraltar.
So far so good. You may be wondering at this juncture why I’ve not flooded this entry with images of dancing lovers (add the missing letter to the front of the word), a chorus line of linnets and sky larks and of course the much vaunted spoonbill (I’ve just discovered that predictive text can add the missing letter (hurrah and why didn’t I work it out sooner? However I’m not changing the first two paragraphs- so that you can share my joy in having all twenty-six letters in place again.
The answer is very straight forward to both questions and one of them casts doubt on my intelligence. But back to the birds. The avocets were stand offish. Even the gulls were a bit on the snooty side. Everyone else was on their holidays having hatched their eggs and reared their young. The waxwings and gold crests seem not to have yet returned to these shores despite the brochure – unless they were all hiding. There were a few starlings practising small scale murmuration but that was about it. You’d have thought that there would have been a professional stunt spoonbill on hand to pose for pictures at the very least. Clearly more careful reading is required if we are to see more birds and take pictures of them. I did spot one bird watcher carrying a camera with a lens that looked as though it would need a team of porters to move it.
What there were, however, in numbers and close at hand, were these dragonflies who were very obliging on the photographic front. Further reading reveals that they are common darter dragonflies.