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Saturday, 20 July 2013

Holkham Pines and Cara's 30th Birthday Party!

Today was a complete and utter disaster for me. But what an exciting day for others. I just knew something good would be found this afternoon. I rarely go out socialising, the last time I went out was our Christmas Party at work. Today was Cara's 30th Birthday Party and Cilla and Sarah were picking me up at 7.30pm. I got up very late today, exhausted from work and the heat. I had to go into town to the hairdressers and to get bits and bobs for the party tonight. I was still at home when Eddie phoned me whilst running, puffing and panting about John Furse finding a juv. Two-barred Crossbill at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse – Eddie didn't get there quick enough sadly. The pictures were on John's camera and they were brilliant. Why was I in King's Lynn? I spend so much time at Cley, why hadn't I been there this morning!!! Anyway the bird had flown off and John Furse was the only observer. I drove into town and on route I heard there was now another TBC, a male at Holme that Connor had found!!! As I was having my fringe cut in the hairdressers, there was now a voicemail message about a male Two-barred Crossbill showing brilliantly at Cley Coastguards sitting on the fence wire, posing and showing down to 10ft! I could have cried! S*d it, I needed to get over there. BUT as I left town, the traffic was grid locked and I mean at a complete standstill. I crawled, painstakingly in first gear all the way home, it must have taken half an hour at least. Threw birding gear in car and made my way along the A148. I then heard that the Cley bird had flown off and there was no more news on the Holme ones either. My heart sank. Plan B: find my own. If there were 4 Two-barred Crossbills at Holme and Cley there just had to be some at Holkham surely? So with the day disappearing fast and the fact that I had to be showered, hair washed and straightened and blinged up for a party by 7.30pm, I was getting stressed me big time. I decided to give Holkham a speedy search. I even broke my rules and paid Lord Coke £3.00 to park right at the top of Lady Anne's Drive.

I walked all through the pines, both along the main path and the seawards side of the pines. I searched hard and just couldn't believe I couldn't find any crossbills at all. The only birds I found were a single female blackbird, 1 marsh harrier and a family party of blackcaps. I was horrified by the disappearance of three Holm Oaks by the Salt Hole that hung over the water – it has visually opened up the pool, but I would have preferred the trees to have stayed. I looked at Burnham Overy Dunes and realised there were no time left to search here aswell. I speed walked back to my car and left.

I arrived home at 7.07pm. Cilla was picking me up at 7.30pm. It was the quickest I had ever got ready. There would be no straightened hair for the party. Sarah phoned me at 7.25pm to say they were here – arghhhh..... I only made them wait 10 minutes. With half wet, curly hair and no make-up, I flew out of the house. Cilla and Sarah were highly amused at me doing make-up and nails in the car on route to the party! I finished in time, just as we pulled into the carpark.

I drank vodka to blank out the rest of the day and tried to forgot about birds and how frustrating they can be. I boogied round the dance floor and had a fabulous time with work colleagues who all looked wonderful. It's great seeing everyone all dressed up and out of boring work attire. I took videos and lots of pretty pictures. The DJ played some hot tunes which kept everyone on the dance floor until the end. We left at 12.50am and got home around 1.30pm I think.


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