Sunday, 2 May 2010

Lone Vigil

Perhaps it's something akin to the migratory instincts of many of the birds this little buzzer that goes off somewhere in the deep recesses of the mind. Like a call from off in the hazy distance of our ancestors, a single syllable blown on the east or north wind, 'sea' it whispers promising change and the restless motion of the waves.
This year the call seems to have reached me a little later, possibly the result of the harsh winter or is it that the winter survey pelagics have quelled the urge after the fashion of a dose of Vitamin D on a SAD sufferer?
Yesterday afternoon it hit me as I brought home the supplies from a hunting expedition carried in the shopping from Asda. The north wind cutting a chill through the three day growth, blowing the dandruff from my hair, suddenly I needed the sea.
I needed 1st-summer Kittiwakes and their perfect plumage, the creamy yellow bigness of stiff winged Gannets as they banked past out of reach. I needed Puffins whirring like wind up kids toys as they fizzed through at all sorts of angles. Most of all I needed pirates, fresh from adventures with tales of raids, squabbles and kleptoparasitism on the high seas.
Of course the reality was a little tamer. The 'Golden Hour' more a brass rubbing of the real thing yet to come. Pirates still somewhere south eyeing the treasure.
So the first proper land based sea-watch of 2010 was  a tame slow affair, though the cold north breeze did keep away some of the less desirable residents and their four legged companions and the Newbiggin 'hide' was free from excrement, glue bags and condoms, always a bonus.
To be honest I came away relatively satisfied with three self-found year ticks in Arctic Tern, Manx Shearwater and best of all Little Tern.
Scores on the doors were

Arctic Tern 3 N
Sandwich Tern 28 N
Little Tern 1 N
Manx Shearwater 16 N
Red-throated Diver 1 N

1 comment:

Dale Forbes said...

"scores on the doors"...
wouldn't some birding graffiti be fun: "little tern was here 2/5/10"