Unable to get there yesterday my day off work surely must give me an opportunity. Given that yesterday the bird showed up at 8.20am and then showed well for a while before flying off and spending most of the rest of the day distantly apart from returning to feed mid afternoon, I thought I should go early and get back for 11am for Sol's performance of mini Joseph. Stupidly, I hadn't quite calculated things correctly and instead of arriving at 8.15am ready for the gull to arrive, I found myself in a traffic jam near the Humber Bridge at 8.30... I texted my wife to say I would be turning round as I was never going to make it and then get back for 11. Anyway, I was stuck on the A63 until the next junction and as luck would have it, I passed the broken down lorry that was causing the chaos there and suddenly the road cleared. I legged it on through the dawdling morning commuters and arrived at Patrington Haven at 9.05am. I was then told it was a mile walk - bugger!
Donning my gear I ran down to the pumping station thankful for all the training I have been doing but regretful for the bout of flu I have been getting over, which erupted in a coughing fit half way there. I passed Jack A-B and Olly en route who said the bird was showing brilliantly. Fab! I may just pull this off! When I got there, c50 birders were standing around nonchalantly chatting and not looking at the bird. So where was it? Was I being blind? No, it had flown off. But where? Why was nobody looking? After a bit of panic caused by the comment 'it flew on to the river mate' I found a guy who looked like he was birding. He was, and seconds later I was viewing the corking Polar-bear-crap eating wanderer.
Awesome! Not as mindblowingly close as everybody else had seen it, but a cracking scope filler in glorious winter morning sunshine. I drank in the tiny black tips to the wing coverts and primaries, the characteristic mucky face, short black legs - seemingly feathered to the knee! - and the other features. And then, five minutes after I had set eyes on the reason for my mad morning dash, I had to go.
In order to get back for 11 o'clock, I must be back in my car and heading west by 9.30am. I shot off lugging my gear passing rather bemused twitchers wondering why I was running away from the bird. The journey back was much quicker, and yes, I made it back in time to see my three year old lad do his star role as Joseph. A real tear jerking moment. And the nativity wasn't bad either!