Friday, February 1, 2013

A Mighty Wind

With a howling west-south-westerly battering the land and sea on 30th, Amity and I decided to throw caution to it, enjoying a wet n' wild session out on the Brigg without another soul around. Ostensibly because we could, but also because the conditions looked good for encouraging a storm-blown scarcity towards the shore, most likely (or hopefully) a Grey Phalarope.

No joy sadly, but no matter, a uniquely special walk, as they all are here. So when my phone beeped early the following morning (yesterday) just as we were waking up, I had a good idea what the words on the screen might read......

There followed a quick rationalising session, with the following pro's and con's in the mix: It was early, and the bed was still warm. The tide was high, meaning my preferred route onto the Brigg - along the beach - was underwater. The only alternative would be an exposed, up-hill cycle ride onto Carr Naze, and then a scramble down an increasingly dangerous eroded clay slope, made even more foolish by the wind and the especially slippery surface (due to recent heavy rains). Even then, a scramble along the exposed Brigg, being royally sprayed by the crashing waves en route, may well be entirely in vain.

On the other hand, I had a couple of hours to kill, Grey Phalaropes are (while not strictly rare) absolute beauties, and as an extra nudge, I've been unwittingly cajoled into year-listing (more on this shocking turn of events soon). But more than anything, one of the main reasons I'm here is to seize these opportunities while I'm lucky enough to do so, and after reminding myself of that hard-won mantra, the decision was made.

After breakfast and coffee, that is. Upholding my resolution of injecting a little more zen (and a little less stress) into my local birding (see here), I was at the end of the Brigg perhaps 45 minutes later (as opposed to, say, 25 if I'd have truly rushed), and despite being flighty and sorely tested by the extraordinary conditions, there it was.