Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Squacco Standoff

After yesterday's weather related house arrest, I took the twins on an early morning hunt for the Squacco Heron not reported at all yesterday, presumably everybody had more sense than to wander around in the awful weather.
We walked up the flood wall towards Telford Bridge but as we approached I could see a man in luminous orange wading in the water's edge (go figure) so we turned back. As we approached the end of the flood wall I could see a hefty gent in dark glasses leaning on the wall looking like a CIA agent, the kind that get to watch street corners and grassy knolls. As I passed his gaze across the river remained unbroken and despite the outward similarity to photographer Richard Dunn I suspected another incognito royal visit to meet pensioner flood victims.
Thirty metres further on and I heard a shout from behind me, my inclination was to dive for cover grabbing the kids to avoid the inevitable spray of bullets but as I turned the spook was waving and pointing. We walked back to where Agent X had been joined by two other undercover operatives who had slipped from the shadows. In a bizarre 'birding imitating real life events' scenario the Squacco had emerged from adjacent to a Storm Drain and had been under our noses all along. It was now pinned down on the riverbank and surrounded. After a tense stand-off it suddenly broke for freedom down the river and the tension was relieved. A brief chat with the spook saw him claiming to be a birder but I'm guessing it was just a cover story.

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