Saturday, June 11, 2005

Hot foot to the Red-foot, and cycle rage!

A Red-footed Falcon that had been seen intermittently at Hickling early week, settled and was being seen regularly through the week. Friday afternoon I was home a little earlier, I decided to dash across to Hickiling. It took two wrong turnings and just under a couple of hours to reach Hickling, the pager kept the enthusiasm level high with 5 miles to go it reported the Falcon still present, faithful to a row of dead trees, my legs found another gear…………I entered the hide at just after 6PM. Two birders were scanning but hadn't seen it, thankfully I noted they didn't have scopes and assumed they had probably just not manged to pick it out, I started scanning right to left, first dead nothing, second dead tree, there it was, Red-footed Falcon, brilliant, if a little distant, it occasionally took short feeding flights and hovered. It was a beautiful female, at range the obvious features were the nice rich orange below, and the obvious pirates mask – it took me back to a year ago when myself and a mate had a female pass in front of us at Snettisham CP.

The ride back turned into an eventful one………….as I meandered along the single track back lanes you occasionally met traffic coming the other way, most were either courteous keeping over or pulling over, but then I bump into “Mr I’ve got a four wheel drive Range Rover”. As I headed along the road I was probably 18 inches from the verge – not wanting yet another puncture. His vehicle occupied 90% of the road and he headed straight towards me centred in the middle of the road – it was clear he had no intention of pulling to the side or over, especially as he drove straight past a pull-in. The result my arm clips his wing mirror, wing mirror smashes against his window, mirror shatters and my arm is stinging.
He reversed back, but my adrenalin was pumping anyway from the cycling so let’s just say that a few heated words were exchanged I think he got the jist of what I thought of him, and fortunately he saw no reason to get out of his vehicle, which probably would have landed me in some real trouble because I could feel myself shaking with anger! The rest of the journey was relatively uneventful save a Spotted Flycatcher perched on a wire fence.

206 NMYL and 56 miles round trip in just over 4.5 hrs