I have just had a MEGA birdwatching experience.
Like all the best sightings, I was completely not expecting it. Like so many of the things that I hold special today, it has its roots in my childhood. I remember in Truro Museum, I would often return to a tall stuffed bird with its glassy eye on a level with mine. It had a weirdly shaped beak which used to fascinate me.
I was walking along the Truro River with my parents.
We had spotted the teal, shelduck, curlew, redshank, godwit plus mallard and dabchick.
In the estuary, the tide was just up and the water was bubbling with grey mullet enjoying a feeding frenzy.
It had been a good walk and we were returning to the car when a large white bird took off over the water.
“Egret” said Dad.
“Too big,” I replied and indeed there was an egret close by – it was smaller.
I had a gut feeling: “Spoonbill!”.
As it came closer and finally flew right over our heads, every doubt was banished.
Thrilled, I WhatsApp the family:
“Guess what flew over my head today?”
“A highland cow?”
I tire of their flippancy:
“A spoonbill. AN ACTUAL SPOONBILL”
Then there is some old chat from Carenza and Nigel about what they are having for dinner.
“I said, A SPOONBILL.”
Perran: “Is that a kind of tractor?”
Nigel: “Are you sure it wasn’t a heron? To the untrained eye they can be easily confused.”
Carenza: “We know that bird watching is challenging for you.
I’m sure you’ll learn soon though.”
Pascoe: “I think it was probably a heron holding a very small frying pan in its beak.”
I give in:
“Yep. That does seem to be the most plausible explanation.” *Sighs*