Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Friday 13th February 2009

Unlucky For Some?

Yes, Friday 13th! Not a very good day normally for yours truly. Now, I'm not unduly superstitious, but I have had my share of really bad luck on this date over the years. Like when I was a child. I cycled with some mates to the local town (one of them needed a haircut!), completely forgetting that I had to go to my aunt's for tea as I my mother was off somewhere with my younger brother! Well, we got delayed and it had got dark when we returned to our bikes. No lights meant a hairy ride back up to our village, with cars zooming past just millimetres away, (but don't tell my Mum!!). I was still at junior school at the time, so you can imagine it was a bit scary. Luckily cars were not so frequent on our country roads then as they are now. Unluckily I was late getting to my aunt's and I got torn off a strip for it too!
Then a couple of years ago - Friday 13th again - I was chauferring my parents around for a few days whilst they were spending a few days down here in East Devon, when we decided to stop for lunch at a cafe in Honiton. I duly proceded to consume a hearty plateful of ham, eggs, chips and peas. I eventually arrived home late afternoon to hear of a Stone Curlew on the Axe Estuary near Seaton. As I had never seen one in Devon before, I went for it! I got reasonable views of it before it disappeared, never to be seen again. So, where the's bad luck associated with Friday 13th, I hear you asking yourself? Well, that evening I was very very ill! I had obviously had a very dodgy meal in that Honiton cafe. (Subsequent tests by the good doctor revealed I had succombed to severe food-poisoning!). So I paid for more Stone Curlew! I managed to lose a stone and a half over the next 10 days - not a recommended way of losing weight!
So, what of today? I first trundled down to Mudbank Lane, where due to the high tide, a large number of wildfowl were present, in fact the first large gathering of wildfowl for some time. Hordes of Wigeon were present, a little way out from the railway line, as were quite a few Shelduck and a very vocal lone Dark-bellied Brent Goose. Scanning through, the flock I discovered a drake Common Teal and a female Shoveler lurking within the masses. However, there was nothing else of note to be found at this site.
Later on, I trudged across from Knowle Hill, across the edge of Budleigh golf course and back into my patch, just east of Straight Point and Sandy Bay caravan park. On the sea here I found a small party of 7 Great Crested Grebes and a Red-throated Diver. A single adult Gannet passed offshore. I looked down on to the landslip and spotted a Fox, curled up asleep below me! However, I didn't see anything else of interest. I then trudged back to the car.

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