On 27th April it was my beloved’s birthday. We had decided to take a day off and he could chose to do whatever he wished. His decision was to go to Minsmere, on the advice of Jenny from The World Land Trust, a place where you could see birds, like bitterns, and avocets and harriers. We set off, with Mr Stenham navigating, again, along the lanes of Suffolk. The sun was shining.
Walking around Minsmere at a leisurely stroll we were astonishied to see bar tailed godwits, birds of great beauty, and avocets, so delicate, and harriers coursing the air. We sat in hides with binoculars, looking out over golden reed beds, and stood on a raised walkway in the reeds waiting for a bearded tit, who did at last appear, after we had been entertained by harriers and hobbys and the booming of bitterns.
A man showed me a photo he had taken earlier of two bitterns. Beautiful picture. Things I loved about the day were:
Listening to the birders talking about the birds. They knew so much, so very much more than me about the different species, what they looked like, from greenshank to godwit to avocet and dunlin, to stone turn and stone curlew. He is still insisting that we are ‘having a lovely holiday’. But he was happy walking on the stony beach beside the great North Sea.
Seeing these men, some of whom I wouldn’t have wanted to meet in a dark alley, great giants of men, all loving these small feathered creatures so much.
Watching the harriers fly with slow flapping coursing maneuvers over the gold, hanging in the air, real masters of flight.
Feeling myself relax. Nowhere to go, nothing to do, just sitting in a hide or standing in sunshine watching, waiting, listening for birds.
Realising that actually Mr Stenham had no interest in birds or bird watching, but had chosen to go to the mere because he knew that I would really enjoy it, relax and have a wonderful time. ( Although he did have a lovely time too, but thought the birder had said the wader was a bartailed gobshite which is still making him laugh).