That's normally what we say in our house, followed by "Why can't they just fit the training in sometime during the fifteen week long summer holidays (ok, so I might have exaggerated that last bit!!). Today, though, that was all set to change.
This was how it all started:
08.07am Cleveland Red Flanked Bluetail Hartlepool Headland - trapped and ringed
08.34am MEGA - Cleveland White Throated Robin Hartlepool Headland - trapped and ringed (not Red Flanked Bluetail)
And that was that. Plans were being formulated in my head, a leisurely Daddy and Amy day was put on hold, swimming was cancelled and Amy was up for the twitch!! She grabbed her pink Mothercare bins and was ready. Only slight problem was that we were both still in our pyjamas, hadn't had a wash or a shave (me not Amy!) and we were still in need of breakfast. Luckily Liz was on hand to get Amy dressed and washed while I did the same and loaded the car, with everything I might need to entertain Amy during the journey north; DVD player, books, toys, crisps, drinks and biscuits - I remember the days when I could be out of the door within 5 minutes of a MEGA breaking, not any more!
Within an hour of the MEGA alert going off on the phone we were on our way and the usual worrying started, would it be seen again after release, would it stick around until I arrived, would the photographers do their best to flush it, plus this time, as with any twitch with Amy, would the site be accessible for her and would she get bored and start screaming, that would go down really well!!!
A very low flying Red Kite was nice as we drove up the A1, but we were setting our sights slightly higher today.
Well, by 11.30, we were on site and all of my fears were dismissed, Amy was a star and behaved well throughout our stay and even managed to make her own field notes of the key features!
The bird showed really well at times, often out in the open on the short turf bordering the inner bowling green, and always better than the pictures below might suggest!!
(Ok, so they won't win any prizes, but I was holding Amy up at the same time as the camera to the scope)
Finally I'd connected with another MEGA in the north-east, having dipped the Eastern Crowned Warbler and the Glaucous Winged Gull and I'd even managed to see it before any of the Norfolk "Big Boys", now that really is something that doesn't happen very often!
It seems that viewing conditions have got a bit worse since we were there, with photos appearing of people standing on van roofs and climbing ladders to see into the Doctor's walled garden, I'm guessing no scope views then!