Saturday, 25 April 2015

A very polite and literate eider duck

Druridge Bay is blessed with a fine range of bird-watching blogs. Not surprising given the richness of bird life and the regular rarities that turn up. I am not the world's best bird watcher, although I treasure the Bay for the first swallows of the year and the sheer incredulity of breeding avocets. I should be more used to avocets. As  a teenager I used to volunteer at the RSPB's jewel in the crown at Minsmere in Suffolk. Avocets were one of the specialities, then found at only a handful of southern sites. My rubbish bird ID was no hindrance to being a volunteer because there were always other vital jobs to do such as keeping an eye on the car park. Not a glamorous task but a year as a shop assistant had taught me great deal about helping people. Or explaining politely why they couldn't visit that particular day because the reserve was closed and they must have driven past five "Reserve closed" signs to get there. Now there are avocets back again at Cresswell, straining the brackish lagoon for tiny invertebrates in between prima donna-ish fits at the approach of just about any other species.
Other bird life is more polite. This eider tucked waddled along the road into Hauxley Reserve last week, then, presumably seeing the sign that the reserve is closed, settled down to queue. Clearly ducks just need one sign unlike their Minsmere visiting human brethren. Literate and polite: makes bird watching so much easier.

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