Wednesday has just become my day again for the first time since I started working in the 70’s – freedom! So after doing my chores and picking apples in the breezy sunshine, I headed down to WWT Steart near Hinckley Point in Somerset for the high tide, to see what I might find.
The wind was picking up as I arrived and with it came squall after squall of heavier and heavier rain, the coat tails of Storm Ali, which was wreaking havoc not much further north of us. It merited a name, the first of the year, because of its ferocity, and the birds seemed to have heard in advance and hunkered down.
Braving the breeze were plucky little egrets, gulls in profusion, a flash of kingfisher and flocks of goldfinches and starlings. Stately swans pointed upwind and remained calm, while a little grebe (my first) dashed for cover in the reeds as I arrived. The waders were nowhere to be seen. All for another day.
And all this just for me, with no-one around except distant farmers on the fields and reserve staff doing their brilliant work, always ready with a smile and a wave.