Before I regale the tale, Crammy Birder, if I had known you were not at Uni today, I would have called you. Really sorry!
So, off north at 10am and intermittent fog patches had the ol' ticker affected and first stop, Dunstan Hill for the goose flock. Viewed from the B1339, the main group was over, well, the hill, but all species seen except the Ross's (not to worry, they're not a BOU 'tick'!). And three Welsh birders there too. Luvv-leeee!
Then off the Newton-by-the Sea. Blissful, with Barwits, Starlings, Oystercatchers, BHGs, HGs, Redshanks, Crows, Rooks and Turnstones sifting through the seaweed on the beach.
On 'Stringer Scrape', nice to see 10 White-fronted Geese were the highlight:
And off to Holy Island ahead of the safe crossing time of 1:40pm, arriving at 12:40. En route, news the the A1 was closed both ways at Scremerston and as I neared the Beal turn-off, a diversion off left at Fenwick.
After a 'Bridge of Death'-like examination by the Traffic Managers, I managed to convince the finest Hi-Viz bedecked chaps that I was, indeed, in need of a twitch to Holy Island and not wanting to bypass (superb road-related pun or what?!?!) their beautifully-honed vehicular direction training!
Hurdle No. 1 in the It's a Knockout series successfully navigated, off to No. 2, the 'Ebbing Tide Challenge'.
Of course, the EBR was still there and if we had not crossed the causeway ahead of the allotted time, it would have 'dun orf'. Not.
Being hugely impatient, me and a guy from Ebbw Vale (he set off at 2am for the Yellowlegs and then the Redstart) watched as one or two 'pathfinders' slowly drove towards the island as the water raced from left to right over the road. And as they successfully crossed almost an hour early, so did we.
Next stop, the school, and two bays nicely vacated for me and my Welsh sidekick to occupy.
And then No. 3, the 'Rope Down The Slope' (Good Lord - poetry too. I do spoil you!!). So a 6'4", 47 year old with a penchant for You've Been Framed-like, arse-over-tit behaviour, slowly maneouvred down to the beach, with kit in hand.
The Ebbw Valean had walked off north along the top and I teetered north along the beach with its 'high-grip' Fucus vesiculosus covering and scanning the route ahead, I saw a wee birdie flying up and down in Ficedula fashion.
And nearing said bird, voila, yet another ornithogasmic experience: