I developed the itch sometime on Tuesday afternoon… a case of Hermit Thrush in the Porthgwarra area. I hoped the itch would start to recede but instead it got worse. Plenty of lucky souls had scratched their itch and I along with Dave Gray, Colin Green and John Walters needed a cure. A few friends at work had helpfully suggested yoghurt but no, trip to the ‘gwarra was required.
Our big problem was Dave was on nights but this could prove a double edged sword as we knew, with him in the car, we couldn’t leave till 08.00 at the earliest but, by then, we’d hope to have some news. Sausage butties courtesy of Col’s wife Sue lining our stomachs we headed off. To say we were pushing it trying to get on the M69 at 08.00 was saying something but my sneaky route meant we made great time. Our first positive message came just after 09.00 so we carried on South. At 13.00 it was still reported as showing at 11.10… yes! By now we were past Penzance making good time, be there in a few minutes.
Piling out of the car we even allowed ourselves the luxury of a toilet stop before we sauntered round to tick the bird. Sadly the bird hadn’t been seen for a while, indeed one lad had arrived just after 09.00 and missed it. Not to worry we still had a good few hours and it surely would show… it didn’t despite being reported from a garden (don’t ask).
In fact that was it. We assembled by it’s ‘favoured roost’ and waited till the light had gone. Nothing, zip, nada! Dipped.
I’ve dipped Hermit Thrush before, well, I say dipped but back in 2000 a possible was reported on St Martin’s and I went more in hope than expectation. I’d never been to Martin’s so nothing to lose. That day was characterised by heavy rain but on the plus side I met Phil Holloway and formed a great friendship with Phil, he came to stay at our digs few days later and we returned each year until his sad and tragically early death a few years ago now. Dipping a bird isn’t really much when you think… after all, it’s only a bird!
By now we hadn’t eaten for over 10 hours so John guided us to Jewell’s Fish & Chips in Newlyn for the best Cod & Chips I’ve had in years!
Fast forward to this morning and still no sign… takes away a bit of the pain of dipping and means my itch seems scratched – for now!