I started this week with the firm intention of getting back to normal. Whatever normal may be, where my life is concerned.
step on the road was the January meet-up of the Birdy Group on Monday. After all, I missed out on the December trip, on account of it being only a fortnight after my shoulder op; I couldn’t wait until February to rejoin my fellow birders. Especially
as our leader, the Lovely Linda, always send us a follow-up email after each meeting, listing all the birds seen over the course of the group’s two hour amble - which makes me only too aware of all I have missed. As regular readers know, I just can’t
bear missing out on anything.
Hence when Lovely Linda emailed me last week to ask if I thought I would be up for Monday’s trip, I was quick to respond in
the affirmative. This was before I realised that, because we would be travelling somewhere new, and at a greater distance, I would be picked up from home a little earlier than usual. Which wouldn’t normally be a problem but I do take a lot longer these
days to get showered and dressed on account of still being slightly hampered in the Shoulder Region.
This is the thing with getting back to normal - there is no
point in dwelling on possible problems and letting them get in the way of progress. You just have to get on with it and - guess what - everything becomes possible. I am looking out of the kitchen window for my lift, coat and shoes on, all ready to go by 9.15
a.m. Mr B has had his breakfast, swallowed down his morning medication and is wondering why I am suddenly so very Out And About. He gathers his thoughts sufficiently to remember to advise me to look out for a Golden Eagle...
Because Burton Pond is a venue new to us, it is little short of miraculous that we all manage to find our way there without problems. Especially as the satnav on the Lovely Linda’s car is somewhat
less than specific in its description of the route we are travelling. For a considerable distance we drive along something called “Road” which in due course gives way to “Alley.” We are well pleased when we arrive at our destination
before we find ourselves on “Farm Track.”
No Golden Eagles at Burton Pond but the very first thing we spy is a heron, winging its way across the water.
This bodes well for our morning out. Even better, casting our eyes skywards, we see a red kite wheeling above us. It may not be a Golden Eagle but it’s pretty splendid all the same.
Heather motions me to silence - she has heard the alarm call of a woodpecker. I always try to stay close to Heather when out with the Birdy Group; she is a fount of all Bird Related Knowledge. Indeed, there is the Great Spotted Woodpecker
doing what it does best. Like, pecking. At wood. It flies up high into the trees and poses for a while so that even I can see him. Thanks to Heather.
as we wander, mighty oak trees tower above, majestic but also Harry Potter-ish in their weird but wonderful shapes. We wonder just how old they must be - hundreds of years, we reckon, sounding almost, well, knowledgeable. We must come back again, everyone
says, at a different time of year to see this lovely nature reserve in its summer or autumn clothing.
Burton Pond does not boast a coffee shop so quite a few of
us stop off at Pulborough Brooks on the way home for light refreshments. Lots more of our feathered friends are to be seen visiting the feeders outside. We get talking to one of the RSPB staff who has an axe to grind about films or TV programmes set
in exotic places where all of a sudden the song of a blackbird might be heard - despite the fact that one of our favourite songbirds would never have actually visited the region concerned.
I would never have recognised that, to be honest, but I can understand what he means. It would be like spotting a Golden Eagle on a Birdy Group Outing.
I must be sure to tell Mr B when I get home...