Tuesday 4 December 2012

This is becoming a habit

Out birding twice in one weekend - I could get used to this. But I really have the in-laws to thank for it: when my wife's sister and nephews turn up, my own family are so pleased to see them that I might as well not be there. Which is just as well...

Goosander at Swineham

Their visit this Sunday morning presented the opportunity to nip out early and get reacquainted with Swineham. While scanning the gravel pits, a sleek pale shape flashed close past my bins - on taking them down I realised it was a redhead Goosander, which banked and flew close overhead for a few shots. In a frantic five minutes a Water Rail then flushed from the path just ahead of me, and a Cetti's surprised me by revealing itself, just as a Bearded Tit was giving close-up views at the side of the path.

Buzzard at Swineham

Speaking of family, I was reminded this weekend that my wife is a distant cousin of the briefly notorious nurse-come-celebrity-and-actress, Abi Titmuss, 36. (Why do tabloids always do that thing with the age?). The very mention of her name should increase the hits this blog gets from search engines, especially as I've used the words 'revealing', 'close-up' and 'shots' in the same post. Not to mention 'Bearded'. And in an even more tenuous celebrity connection, it also emerged that my nephew's girlfriend's cousin's boyfriend's auntie is that Flavia Cacace, 33, out of 'Strictly Come Dancing'. I know, I was impressed too.

Dartford Warbler, Coombe Heath

Anyway, just to prove I'm not a complete anti-social cuss when it comes to kinsfolk, there was just time for a trip to Arne before they left for home on Sunday night. They went to the beach while I headed in the opposite direction out over Coombe Heath, where not even a Great Grey Shrike failing to show could spoil a pretty good weekend.

Bearded Tit, Swineham. No-one told him 'Mo-vember' was over.

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