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United KingdomGenerally, my birding falls into two main categories – local patch and foreign trips. I don’t tend to twitch, certainly over long distances, although I am always tempted if I know of a new bird for my UK list or something juicy in the North-east. This has resulted in a very limited experience of birds and locations in other parts of the country, hence the decision to take a week off work and look at birds around the UK.

The original plan had been for three of us to do this as a group, at least for part of the week. However, circumstances prevailed, and I was left to complete the task myself, something which I was more than happy to tackle. I didn’t know where I was heading until the night before I set off, since the decisions on where to go were to be based on a balance on which “rarities” had been reported, and the speciality birds from other regions which I would like to see. The latter would include East Anglia, the South-west, and Scotland. Since I had spent a few days in Scotland a couple of years ago, a South-easterly direction on the first morning was the order of the day.

Equipment was simple – a car, walking gear, optics, video camera, and a few choice field guides (I am one of the first to admit that I am far from an expert in identification, and they were fingered well throughout the week, along with the sites guide). Many miles were covered (over 1600), and the general plan was to be at the preferred location early each morning, and check for birds on the pager throughout the day. This often resulted in a journey late afternoon, and finding accommodation early evening. The latter was often a B&B pub, which strangely all hosted local cask ales. It would have been bad manners not to sample these!

 

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Day 6

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