Oh dear. Birding in public for me isn't such as good idea, as I discovered yesterday whilst attempting to find my mate a Black Brant out on the 'Badlands', at Ferrybridge, that muddy bit where Portland joins Weymouth.
Geese and I definitely don't mix. (No offence Brett!) Throughout my birding career they have spelled nothing but misery:
Waiting for hours on end as a kid, going boss-eyed and freezing in the bl**dy 'Acrow Tower' at Slimbridge trying to string up and scratch off, Lesser-white Fronted.
Crippled with cold at Caerlaverlock after having 'camped out' overnight in some grotty, half-derelict, mouse-ridden, 'cottage', on - all for the sake of one s*dd**g Snow Goose, somewhere, among thousands of 'others'.
Then again yesterday, all set up in perfect, calm, conditions, with the light just right behind us, except for the traffic roaring past behind, scanning a few hundred Brents - when some total and utterly selfish imbelice with a fishing rod decides to traipse out across the beach right through the flock, on his way to the shore on the other side. What does he do, but flush the lot. Not only that, but up go the waders... AND, as if to add injury to insult, a hundred or so of one of my very favourite species - Med Gulls. Almost before I knew it I had hollered, "hold my bins a minute"; handed the optics to my mate.. and strode off out over the sands yelling my head off at the buffoon - who I was later, very gently told by various birders... had every right to be there.
Thankfully, I ticked all the 'proper' geese long time, once and for all as far as I'm concerned: stuff the Ross's if they ever give it full status, for all I care they can serve that species up for Christmas dinner!
Tomorrow, I'll be back, doing some proper birding (warblers, gulls and whatever), away from the madding crowd, wandering lonely as the metaphorical 'cumulonimbus'... safely down the Weares!