Tuesday August 20th. Forty-sixth wedding anniversary. And I was going birding at the insistence of Sheila. It's a day I normally go birding. I might not bother next year...
First stop Hornsea Mere hoping for nice shots of little gulls. There were plenty of little gulls present but, unfortunately, they were all well out on the water to the right and beyond Swan Island. Here's just one very distant photo showing some of them.
Greylag geese flew overhead.
As did some young shelducks.
Of couse I saw a painted lady butterfly!
I decided to drive down to Kilnsea Wetlands.
A common sandpiper was outside the hide. In the first shot the bird looks rather 'head heavy' to me. Second one is more normal - same bird.
Redshanks flew in.
A couple of dunlin came close.
Walking back a patch of purple clover held a good number of common blue butterflies.
I was going to say the male above looks a bit moth-eaten but perhaps that's a rather mixed-up metaphor for a butterfly! This one's smarter.
I even managed a flight shot - well a taking-off shot at least.
Best of all I spotted a female and managed to keep track of her until she settled. Females are quite inconspicuous and shy so I was pleased with these two shots.
Guess what else I saw! A painted lady. I don't tire of seeing them. There'll be plenty of butterfly-free months to come.
At Sammy's Point I met a birder who told me there were whinchats in the set-aside field on the road down to Canal Scrape. I headed there. I had nice views and decided to move to a gate where I could rest the camera and get a good shot. I was about to press the shutter when the ground gave way beneath me and I slid down into a ditch. As I fell one leg snagged and twisted my leg severely.
By the time I dragged myself to my feet holding onto the gate the bird had flown and I realised I could barely walk.
I managed to drive home but my left leg is now very painful; walking is impossible other than a few yards and I'm resting up for a while. Deep heat creams, elevated leg, inactivity. I won't be birding for a while.
But I got a tick. A nice male whinchat.