Last Sunday (23/08/15) I undertook my first migrant hunting mission on Blakeney point. I went with Kieran Nixon and Kayn Forbes, who are both ‘veterans’ of the point and the conditions were ideal for finding something good. Kayn has written a detailed report with photos on his blog, link here; https://kaynforbes.wordpress.com/2015/08/23/blakeney-point-23rd-august-2015/
I just want to reflect on the experiential aspect of the trip. Kieran and I have spoken at length about ‘falls’ of migrants and he has regaled me with some fantastic stories of days up the point when he and others have witnessed vast numbers of migrants that have been forced to land due to the weather conditions.
As we stood at middle point in the driving rain, soaked to the skin – even Kayn’s waterproofs did not maintain their responsibility! We looked towards a line of herbaceous cover on the edge of the estuarine mudflats and I don’t think many birding experiences will compare to what we were witnessing.
It was as if the suaeda was alive, a living carpet of shrubbery and avian wonderment. Wheatears, Willow Warblers and Pied Flycatchers spilling out and strafing between areas of cover in front of us. To be fair, we had also found a Wryneck and a juvenile Montagu’s Harrier only moments before, but the adrenaline rush of these finds, for me, was overshadowed by this spectacle of drift migration that I had only read or heard about.
It is moments like these, that fill me with a feeling that lingers for days, a great feeling of awe and inspiration at the wonders of nature and birding in particular. It also compels me to write again and share the positivity that birding can bring. Bird therapy at it’s finest!