Friday, 31 March 2017

February 2017

Mostly dominated by our trip to Gambia. One day out at Titchwell beforehand to photograph some waders. As usual Titchwell RSPB reserve itself was quite busy due to the large numbers of sea ducks offshore, Velvet Scoter, Long-tailed Ducks and some Divers. But walk away from the crowds at the end of the board walk and you find yourself alone, well not in the company of people. So a chance to creep along the shoreline and photograph some waders.

A Black Redstart was frequenting Wells and spending much of it's time by the sailing club. I tried for it one dark morning after the school run. It was starting to sleet, bitterly cold and dark as hell. A rather quick search of the roof tops by the sailing club revealed no Redstart just a few Gulls. Even though I'd only been looking for a few minutes the east wind was biting through my ill prepared cloths so I turned to get back in the car and out ran the Black Redstart from under the car to start feeding on the pavement. Near impossible to photograph in the conditions but managed this record shot:
And then it was time for The Gambia---- a family holiday arranged by Sam. I was granted leave of absence during the day time but expected to dine with Sam and Tom in the evenings. Scarce believing this generosity I spent the first two days birding in the hotels grounds and hired a guide for the next three days. We visited  a friend Colin Cross at Kartong Bird Observatory and had a truly wonderful time. Evenings were spent haggling with restaurants, mostly done by Tom and daytimes for Sam and Tom involved a few trips out and some poolside relaxation. All livened up by a heavy military presence following the recent election of the new president, which had nearly cancelled our trip due to the Foreign Office's advice not to travel. Tom awarded the trip ten out of ten and I had to agree.
A few pics:

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