|Posted by birdbeards2010 on February 10, 2012 at 12:50 PM|
An early (5am) start watching fishing programmes on Shed with the boy, was the beginning of a very successful day in the dorkosphere. I was at B & Q before 8am to pick up my sparkling new wheelbarrow and a boot load of other gardening stuff, plus nest boxes, feeders and 15kg of bird seed for school. A day spent avoiding any meaningful work and a nice Gardening Club session planting some early Heritage Seed Library cucumbers and then it was off to Whits to at last get the scope out of its fatherhood retirement.
A beautiful bright afternoon meant that scanning the waterfowl and gull flocks was a joy, with the light showing the birds off wonderfully. After several sweeps of the birds in the ice-free patch near the island I decided to escape the grannies (who almost had cardiacs when I mentioned a Great White Egret had been seen earlier) and take a look further along the Broad. Having stopped and scanned at a different spot a faint voice kept repeating something that sounded like 'Smew'. With my hood up to stop my ears actually falling off, I almost missed the kindly advice proffered from a nice old birding dude with a familiar face, who was kind of loud whispering from up on the road. With his gen I hurtled along the ice to the far end and soon picked up the delightful redhead Smew chilling out on the far side by the reeds. I managed to not get a digiscope photo of it as the sun was glaring up off the snow and making a shot impossible. It was a great looking bird (a bit like my wife!) though. Another kindly birder with an ancient looking scope and rather theatrical clothing and specs soon joined in my appreciation of it and also fell completely in love with my Swarovski. Well in milk-bottle glasses dude.
Working my way back I picked out a nice young male Goldeneye and then struck gold - or yellow - with a successful identification (confirmed by the amazing photo I took) of a Yellow Legged Gull (1st winter I think!). This was a Whits tick and a good gull to have on the list at this stage. Bra-bloody-vo! It was great to get out in the field again, for the first time as a Dad-birder, and great too to get back to my little Birdbeard family.