Sunday 21 June 2015

Happy Father's Day

How to enjoy Father's Day in 10 easy steps:

1. Get served breakfast and presents in bed.
2. Check pager mid-morning to discover a Terek Sandpiper has been found in Pagham Harbour.
3. Consider playing your Father's Day joker and just going for it while everyone else is still getting dressed, then think better of it and chivvy them all into a nice family day out.
4. Arrive at Church Norton an hour-and-a-half later to find car park full to bursting.
5. Get dropped off and arrange for the family to park at the Pagham Harbour visitor centre and walk back down to meet you, giving you a good hour to find and photograph the bird without the risk of twitch fatigue setting in with the others.
6. Tick the Terek within minutes of arriving, marvelling at how it ended up here when it should be on its breeding grounds in in the Siberian taiga, and enjoying views, albeit distantly, of all the key features.
7. Catch up with old friends (and new ones, like Suzanne and Jessica Bradnum, both ticks for me).
8. Have a very civilised cup of tea and a biscuit courtesy of the extremely thoughtful and proactive RSPB volunteers who brought a flask down to the twitch.
8. Enjoy a leisurely walk with the family back to Pagham, snatching a view of the Hudsonian Whimbrel in flight on the way.
10. Stop on the way home for Steak & Ale Pie and a pint of Hopping Hare.

Admittedly, you won't be able to replicate these steps easily every Father's Day, but if you can, I would highly recommend it.
Terek Sandpiper - even in this terrible photo taken at great distance through heat haze the key features of a long, upturned bill, steep forehead and orangey-yellow legs can be seen (#202)
My second British tick in three days, and third new wader in 2015. Not a mega-rarity, but a darned sight less stressful than twitching Bardsey.
In flight it showed a white trailing edge to the wing
Quite a dinky bird as comparison with these Dunlin shows
Swift were screaming over Sidlesham Ferry Pool
An essential ingredient for the perfect Father's Day. Thanks chaps.


  1. I thought Bardsey was logged with the Father's Day joker. I guess having Rowen means you can play the Father's Day joker twice.

    1. I knew there was a good reason we had a second child.

  2. "some guys have all the luck". I spend the same day at home whilst Mrs Local Cllr went canvasing in a nonsense local by-election!!