Friday, 15 November 2013


Wednesday 13th. November 2013

Another early start on what was going to be a very enjoyable day of idle banter and relaxed bird watching in the company of two like minded friends.
It was dark and cold, with a clear sky and a touch of  frost, when I arrived at Keiths at just past 5am.  We soon packed all the gear into his car and set off on our two hour journey to meet up with Adrian at the RSPB’s Freiston Shore reserve near Boston in Lincolnshire, where the Pilgrim Fathers set sail from…so the sign said!! Adrian was already there to meet us when we arrived at just past 7am. After a cup of tea and a chinwag while watching the sun rise, over the bird filled lagoon, into a cloudless blue sky we were ready to go and explore the reserve.

Boys 1

A Mute Swan, bathed in the early morning sunshine, takes it’s first flight of the day.

Boys 2

Unfortunately as we walked around the side of the lagoon to the hide the majority of the birds decided that the best place to be was over on the side that was furthest away from us! There were large flocks of Dark-Bellied Brent Geese noisily flying overhead on their way to feed out in the meadows and on the salt marsh. There was also very large flocks of Golden Plover that frequently took to the air and gave a golden shimmering display as they whirled around in the sunshine, sometimes completely obscuring the view.

Boys 3

We were soon up onto the sea bank and the start of our 3 mile circular walk around the ‘wetland trail’ with an excursion (a good mile round trip!) to the Cut End bird hide.

Adrian was all trussed up and loaded down with Bertha while Keith was contemplating a visit to the local supermarket to do his weekly shop!!

Boys 4

This was the first outing for Keith’s (shopping)trolley but he took all the ribbing and less than flattering remarks in good faith and we were more than grateful for it in the end, well up to a point!…more later.

Not many mountains around here!

Boys 5

Greylag Geese practicing their formation flying.

Boys 6

They tried to drag us in, but we managed to keep our freedom…just!

Boys 7

Eventually our destination is in sight…Cut End Hide.

Boys 8

Adrian decided to use the ungainly method of entry…we just used the gate!

Boys 9

Now this is where Keith’s trolley came into it’s own as he started to unpack coffee, soup and cheese rolls. It was a good idea after all….well maybe?…more later!

As we sat for a well earned rest and refreshment we took in the (flat!) view over The Wash.

Boys 10

Whilst sitting and taking in the pleasant sunshine I suddenly heard a melancholy sort of wailing sound, my first thought when I looked up and saw the long flowing locks was…mermaid!…but no! it was only Keith, who had been exploring and was just cursing the fact that he had stepped into some rather deep and smelly mud!


Boys 10A

Alf kept a keen eye out for any rarities that might have put in an appearance.

Boys 11

With well over half the distance of our walk completed it was now that Keith’s trolley, or it could just have been Keith, had a bit of a poor showing!
“Would anyone like an apple?” was the question, as we sat on a bench for another short rest…after much rummaging, muttering and a partial unloading of the said trolley the next refrain to greet our ears was  “o f*** it, I’ve left them in the car”….It was a good job that both me and Adrian had turned down the offer of an apple….we weren’t too disappointed!

There were a lot of ‘watchers’ along the route.

Boys 12

I wonder if I could get a fringe like that?

As I mentioned earlier there were a lot of Dark-Bellied Brent Geese around but uncannily they seemed always to be on the furthest side of the reserve to us…apart from this one, who we called Billy no mates!

Boys 13

Our trek was now coming to and end and we were soon back at the car park where Adrian again did the honours with the tea and coffee. As luck would have it amongst the Mallard the Wigeon and the sheep that were feeding on the grass in front of the lagoon there was a good number of Redshank and Black-Tailed Godwits, with possibly a few Bar-Tailed Godwits mixed in!

Black-Tailed Godwit

Boys 14

Boys 15

Boys 16

Grey Plover.

Boys 17

Is this a Barwit or a Blackwit?

Boys 18

It was soon time to make tracks for home and after a brief reflection on how good the day had been we said farewell to Adrian and wished him all the best until the next we meet up, most probably, in the new year.

It was a great day with good company…we put the world to rights, had a few laughs, a nice walk in pleasant weather and plenty of birds to see. What better way to spend a day?

Before we left we gave this fella instructions to keep an eye on things until our next visit!

Boys 19


ADRIAN said...

A great post Trevor and a good summing up of the day.

ADRIAN said...

PS, I knew I should have left you to take the birds and saved myself grief by carrying a short lens.

ADRIAN said...

PPS. I've just twigged it was waiting around for it's dead mate we saw, the bird I thought was a Heron..daft I am... eaten by an otter. Keith knows all about Otters eating geese.
Definitely a Billy or Bess no mate.

douglas mcfarlane said...

Great post with plenty of good images and some that had me giggling...poor Keith. Gutted work was an issue I think I know where I had rather been.
Think the wader is a barwit.

The Herald said...

Thanks Adrian. It was a good day and good to meet up with you once more.
Think of how much good it did you by carrying Bertha all that way, you must have burned off no end of calories!!
You could well be right...poor old Billy/Bess!...[;o)

Thanks Douglas. It was a shame that you couldn't have joined us...but I guess somebody has to do the work?
I've studied lots of pictures today..I'm Godwited out! But I think I agree..barwit it is...[;o)

Bob Bushell said...

Great, the birds, stubbly friends, and there was two of them, A & K.

The Herald said...

It was a great day out Bob...[;o)

holdingmoments said...

Great account of the day Trevor.
Some very similar pictures to what I took; that'll save me doing a post lol
Nice one of the mermaid rising from the deep.

The Herald said...

Cheers Keith, it was a good day out, I really enjoyed it.

Aren't you supposed to do an identical post?!

Hhmmm!...a mermaid with muddy feet?...[;o)

Andrew Fulton said...

A wonderful post Trevor... a lovely account of what sounds like the perfect day. Last of the Summer Wine springs to mind lol.

Margaret Adamson said...

Hi Trevor. Great read and lovely photos. Well I really can,t believe Keith with that trolley!! Nd I see he thinks he should not put in a report!! None sense! Everyone sees thing differently and his photos will not br identical to yours. As for the mermaid, I don,t think so, to many cloths on and no tail!!! Well You Boys had a great time. have a great weekend.

Carole M. said...

Trevor there's nothing quite as enjoyable as getting out there amongst nature with like-minded friends is there? Well, it is pretty high on the list of contenders shall we say... That first stop, cup of tea is the fabulous entree to a fun day ahead. I can see how Keiths shopping trolley came in handy instead of lugging all that heavy gear. In that territory you can get away with it; not quite walking over a gravelly, pot-holed, bushland track. Well then I learn the Keiths trolley actually had the soul-food within; good thinking Keith! Never mind the apples, they've been rumoured long ago, as sinful. To have remembered the coffee, soup and bread rolls was a pretty high-score the way I see it, and for that he copped a shin-full of stinkin' mud?

Maria said...

Beautiful, I love the portrait of the sheep. I'm glad you're good friends with Adrian.

The Herald said...

Thanks Andrew it was a wonderful day and Nora Batty was nowhere to be seen!...[;o)

Thanks Margaret, despite all the mickey taking Keith's trolley was a good idea, food and coffee on the go...can't be bad? It was an excellent day out. enjoy your weekend...[;o)

Carole you're right, it's always good to be out enjoying the countryside and nature and even better when you can share that experience with like minded friends. Tea always comes first, you've got to get your priorities right! I've got to give credit to Keith, the catering!..trolley was a brilliant idea, even without the apples!! No problem with the mud...a quick hose down later and he was as good as new!...[;o)

Thanks Maria, I've been following Adrian's blog now for some time and despite the fact that we only meet up about twice a year (he lives in that strange place called 'up north'!!) I class him as a good friend...[;o)

Ruby said...

Great pictures Trevor. I loved the pictures of the two sheep and two birds flying.

The Herald said...

Ruby, thank you I'm glad you liked the pictures. As well as the many birds there were also lots of sheep out in the fields...[;o)

Roy Norris said...

Some fabulous images Trevor of a what turned out to be a nise day for all even if Keith did go off his trolly.
Last of the Summer Wine, yes who was playing "Compo", dare I ask.{:))

The Herald said...

Thank you Roy. Yeh, we had a really enjoyable day out.

Hhmmm, Compo? I think all three of us could take on the role with no problems....[;o)

grammie g said...

Hi Trevor... Well "thirds times a charm" or "three strikes your out"!!
which will it be today!! I have tried leaving comment's, but looks like something is amiss!!
This will be the shortened version!

Love your shot's of animal and birds as usual!!
The mermaid with, shopping trolley in tow, ungainly bloke carrying Bertha with 2 dogs in tow are classic's that steal the show!!

Your stories wording brought me to tears of laughter and to the bathroom!! : )!!


The Herald said...

Hi Grace....Well done, you've got through at last!

Glad you liked the account of our day out, as usual there was never a dull
I'm not too sure about that mermaid and his trolley!...[;o)