I’m not talking about any of that daft ‘proper’ running but more the run Neil Howes and I made up North to Spurn this morning… you’re probably best on the BBC Sports website if you want to see a sweaty Sophie Rayworth.
It all started last night when I got a very despondent telephone call from Neil telling me there was a Great Snipe at Spurn. We consoled ourselves with the notion that it would be gone overnight with the clear skies and the approaching ‘storm of the millenium.’ We made a plan to speak today and left it at that.
I had also planned to meet Colin Green, Steve James and Dave Gray for a spot of vismigging at the Mammoth. I hadn’t even got there when Jamsie text… the Great Snipe was there. Oh sod it! I’m skint but I got an agreement to sub a lift but I needed to get Neil moving from Leamington. Predictably Neil sounded punch-drunk when I phoned and Rosemary sounded a bit naffed off I’d woken her at 07.00 on a Sunday. Dave was a problem – he wanted to go but had to be back for work – I needed to get home, pick up the dog and wait for Neil. I sportingly gave up a chance to go straight away and went home to wait… I didn’t have long to wait and soon Neil, Minnie and I were heading up the A46/A15 for Spurn. Despite me cocking up and forgetting we needed to take the M180 we made Spurn in just over two hours.
I always thought when I finally ticked Great Snipe – I’ve dipped a few in my time and then there’s the Fazakerly Snipe – I’d be making do with a flight view… this baby clearly hadn’t read the script and wandered round in full view, totally unconcerned by the birders. After a while we wandered round into the Caravan Park to Join Archie and Dave Hutton but the bird had gone out of view… only for me to pick it up in flight coming from behind the brick hut. The flight was very much like Woodcock with slow wing-beats, it was also noticeably barrel-chested. We watched it running around in the adjacent field for a while before it took flight for the ditch giving us stunning views of that tell tale tail.
This is the sort of view I thought I’d get if I was very lucky!
After a cracking dinner in the White Horse in Easington, homemade (plate) Steak Pie, Mash and Veg (Shortcrust) – don’t bother with those miserable sods in the Crown & Anchor – we headed back for seconds at Spurn and grabbed a bonus male Snow Bunting on the beach.
An excellent day out and a massive thanks to Neil for subbing me the ride and the lunch – cheers mate!