The Liverbirder is Chris Adams (Yul Brynner; it's the hair!), Crammy Birder is Chico (Horst Buchholz) and DMc, LMc, SH, LR and GB are Vin (Steve McQueen), Lee (Robert Vaughan), Harry Luck (Brad Dexter) Brit (James Coburn) and Bernardo (Charles Bronson) resp.
We travelled to Suffolk then Norfolk for some quality time with our feathered friends.
(Or a Backpacks-R-Us ad?)
End result? Nine Lifers and about twice that many 'Yearers' (for moi) was a tidy outcome from 800 or more miles. The Suffolk base camp:
Near Westleton, this B&B was spot on! Called Pond View, it cunningly gave a view of the village pond!
Westleton Heath was the place for Dartford Warbler and Nightingale:
It was also the place for Nightjar, Green Woodpecker, Turtle Doves and Foxes and Red Deer:
Minsmere was a day of ornitholgical bliss, with Hobbies, Marsh Harriers, Bearded Tits, Bitterns, Cetti's Warblers all showing very, very well:
Lakenheath earlier concealed the Golden Oriole (heard only) but at both places, the Hobbies were breathtaking, catching and consuming dragonflies almost within touching distance. This Four Spotted Chaser was not a 'subbuteo snack' when we were there:
And a few others shots:
Greater Flamingo called Fiona!
Not everything went according to plan.
We dipped Bluethroat (Welney), Honey Buzzard (Gt Ryburgh Watchpoint (but did get Red Kite, Hobby and Buzzard), Woodlark (Westleton Heath) and even after five attempts, Montagu's Harrier (The Dull Monty!). Uneventful hours watching Harrier-less fields were partly remedied by more Marsh Harriers and these beauties:
But we did get Stone Curlew at two sites including Weeting (distant and through a heat haze):
And a brief glimpse of Lesser Spotted Woodpecker at Santon Downham.
Titchwell was fantastic, with the world's best Hide, or should I say hotel, with louvre windows, books and bean bags freely available (the latter for scopes not for sitting on!).
Again, the best Bittern and Bearded Tit views (very close) and Ruddy Duck, Greylags and Red-crested Pochard too:
And Cley (strangely pronounced Cly) was quite impressive:
Yellow Sea Poppy - nice!
After the five day ornithological extravaganza, the long trip home, fantastically punctuated by a stop at Wolfreton near Sandringham for Woodlark (within 30 seconds) and the Surf Scoter at Black Hall rocks!
More than 135 species in all, it could easily have been nearer 150! And GB (or should I say Bernardo?) won the sweep so is now planning what to do with his Lottery-sized winnings.
And finally, the Caption Competition (what are Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson discussing?)!