Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Webbed feet and soaked clothes! (Oh, and I'm English!)

Yep, that pretty much sums me up at the moment! Went out again lunchtime in search of year ticks and ended up getting quite damp again. It definitely isn't nice getting one's work trousers soaked, then having to sit in them all afternoon on return to the old grindstone! I popped down to Exmouth, thought, 'Oh, it's only a few drizzle spits, I'll go and look at Shelly Beach'. Duh, wrong move! I get practically the furthest point and most exposed place away from the car, when the heavens open. Grrr - I'm getting mighty pissed off with this weather now. (I expect 99% of the British population are too by now!). To cap it all, there was bugger-all there, and my optics got thoroughly misted up, just as I realised that all my dry tissues were back in the car - I usually carry a load in one of my coat pockets, so I can at least keep my bins clear! Marched back to my car, chucked most of the soaked clothes in the back (not the trousers I hasten to add - I'm buggered if I'm going to drive round Exmouth in my kacks!), and zipped round to Mudbank Lane, where, lo and behold, the rain eased back quite a bit. I quickly kitted up again. No fun, putting on sodden coats, gloves, hats etc! I turned my attention to the estuary where the recently fallen tide revealed the first sand bank showing and on this were my only Year tick of the day - a few Sanderling. Now usually at Mudbank Lane, we have droves of Wigeon and Pintail showing nicely on the estuary, tight into the railway line. Because of this disgusting weather, they've all been storm-driven much further up the River Exe, (and some probably to Kingdom-come!). However a very smart drake Wigeon was swimming up and down (looking for the other 1500 birds that usually haunt this spot?) and provided me with my first one in Exmouth this year. Another Exmouth Year tick was also seen - a Grey Heron on the tideline, trying to ignore the weather, with that look that only a Heron can assume - the Stiff-upper lip attitude. 'We mustn't look at though we are in any discomfort -after all we're British'. Personally, I like to think of myself as English, after all, did you ever hear of any Welsh or Scots referring to themselves as being 'British'? I was born in ENGLAND, and as far back as I can trace, my family on both my parents' sides were all born in ENGLAND!!

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