Good News, Bad News

You know that game from I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue? Today was like that.

First the good news. The three glossy ibises flew over the car park as I walked in to Shapwick Heath NNR. Bad news for those seeking the birds at Catcott, I suppose.

Then bad news for me when Noah’s Hide was jam-picked with a gang of old ladies admiring the view. This government has it wrong: gangs of youths are no problem but old ladies…? Monty Python had that right. The worst of it was that they looked set for the day, with nary a concession to others wishing for a piece of the window action. You could tell they weren’t birders, who would have at least shifted around a bit and made room. Not being able to identify cormorants was the crones’ other giveaway.

I tried pointing the scope through ‘em to locate the alleged smew but the best I salvaged was a pair of distant goldeneye. After half an hour of disgust I left before the Devil’s enticements to geriatricide could overwhelm me.


Good news. Right outside the hide a flock of finches held redpolls – year bird 121, and new for Somerset too. The species was even sweeter for a passing chap, for whom it was a lifer. I was pleased to get him on to a decent view of the birds.

Bad news. The pub was closed, even for a thawing cup of coffee. My car’s thermometer was registering 4°C but the northerly blasting unimpeded over the Levels brought the temperature down to an interstellar absolute zero.

Good news. Just up the road to Wedmore, at a charming tea-room attached to Sweets Peat and Science Museum, I got a whole cafetière. And indulged in sausage, beans and chips. I don’t often weaken that much but it was reward for not succumbing to my earlier murderous instincts.

Then the day hit a run of bad news. Nothing at Cheddar. Totally lost trying to find the Axe Estuary. And not a single jet-wash anywhere to at least make a start on the first layer of the car’s grime (the lower strata are still ingrained from Scotland).

And now, as Humph once approximately said, the lost sock of this post succumbs to the laundromat of oblivion. Good night all.

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