Saturday, 8 July 2017

Why do I effin bother?

That's the question many of you may have asked yourself. I certainly have recently. This morning at 7am I was walking along the beach at Borth Sands, Ynyslas overlooking Cardigan Bay. The sky was blue, the sea was flat calm and there was not a breath of wind. There were c3000 Manx Shearwaters showing offshore. Indeed why do I bother? I could have been sat on my sofa looking at my Old Scrotum.

Anyway the story goes like this. Hilda's nephew was working this weekend and The Stalker was away with the TA on live fire training. The AMUR FALCON had buggered off so I resorted to plan A and that was the QUEEN EIDER at Ynyslas. An early morning journey through central Wales with nothing much on the road was completed in about two and a half hours.

I parked up and walked along the beach towards the mouth of the estuary, marvelling at the thousands of Manxies flying past. They were even on the river itself showing down to a few metres. The scenery was stunning. It was an idyllic scene. But I couldn't find QUEEN EIDER.  I began to panic that this idyllic scene was going to bite me back.

Looking towards Aberdovey
 In the far distance i saw a birder who I'd spoken to earlier watching the Manxies. I walked towards him. It turned out there were two rivers in the estuary and I was looking at the mouth of the wrong one.

It had only taken me an hour and a half to find the Queen Eider but there she sat on a grassy island, preening away, occasionally stretching up and showing her head. This is my first ever Queen Eider and what's more it's a Welsh tick too.

As I stood there waiting for it to swim, the sun was beating down and I was slowly joined by more birders. You can't go far without meeting someone you know, and I was soon joined by the apprentice Clayheads Grant "Granty Grant" Grant and former MI5 agent Andy "M". They stood and watched the Queen Eider sat on the grassy island and more birders joined us and we all stood and watched the Queen Eider on the grassy island. For two hours she never moved!

It was at this point I gave up and we wandered over to the sea with the apprentices and saw a few more Manxies going past. A quick pop into the Dyfi Osprey centre and the day was done. A fantastic easy day in a beautiful part of Wales I don't visit very often. And you wonder why I bother?

As I stood talking to the apprentice Clayheads, Grant "Granty Grant" Grant mentioned he was a massive Barry Manilow fan. I never knew this and it turns out he's got every album he's released and has seen him 24 times in concert. He even showed me his Barry Manilow tattoo covering his entire back. An absolute work of art. Ask him next time you see him. So Grant "Granty Grant" Grant, here's the song you requested.