I went to bed early on Sunday 20th May trying to be excited about a day trip to
I do not know why I bother going to bed in such situations as usually I do not sleep due to a combination of being too excited and worrying the alarm will not go off, which nine times out of ten puts paid to any slumber. It’s sad really but that’s life in the slow lane for you. Lying in bed and trying to convince myself that I was going to sleep, my Blackberry alerted me to a text message. It was from Badger. A mega alert! At 11pm in the evening? It must be an Owl? Three magic words which immediately banished any ideas of sleep appeared on the phone's screen. Cream Coloured Courser!
I looked in trepidation at where it was. Scillies,
I went into a light sleep. The phone alarm goes off half an hour later at 1am. Darn. In my excited state I forgot to turn it off. My wife is not very happy. Back to semi sleep. Two hours later my text alarm goes off at 3.00 am with Chris telling me he is OK about me cancelling
I called Badger at 6.30am and told him the bird was still there. We arrange to meet at Burford at 7am and a little woozy from lack of sleep on a cold, grey and windy morning in the Little Chef car park – nice - I make a rendezvous with Badger. I pile my stuff in Badger’s Skoda and off we go down the A40. It’s all a bit surreal, what with the lack of sleep and driving on roads normally traversed in the middle of the night but now become unfamiliar in the rush hour. Slowly, as we go west the weather improves and by the time we get to the M5 Motorway it is sunny and the wind has dropped. It’s looking good. We turn off the Motorway and head west on what seems a never ending road heading for the
Eventually we get to Kington and find the very narrow road leading uphill to the Golf Course. We meet cars coming down a road only wide enough for one vehicle. Reversing and polite waves come into play and finally we get to the Clubhouse and driving uphill beyond it we find the designated parking area and proceed over a hilly and hazardous route through gorse, golfers and flying golf balls. I note how other birders abandon their wives as they allow adrenalin and anxiety to overtake courtesy and forty years of marriage. We reach the brow of a hill and there arraigned before us is a line of around fifty birders.
We get to the top and join the end of the line and an upright, pale sandy bird parades up and down before us on the eighth Fairway. A birdy on the eighth Fairway, how appropriate! A Cream Coloured Courser at last. I should have seen the one on Scilly but by the time we got our act together it had died. This was my second chance, I had seized it and got the desired result. This made life very sweet indeed.
The object of our pilgrimage was bigger than I expected, close to a Golden Plover in size. I had assumed it would be the same size as the various species of coursers I had seen in