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Sunday, 17 July 2022

"AMBER" HOT DAY!

"An amber warning for extreme heat has begun for England and parts of Wales as the UK braces for record temperatures"

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-62195015 

It climbed to 36.5°c (97.7 F in old money) by 3pm here in King's Lynn! The next couple of days are going to be VERY difficult for everyone to cope with. Roll on Wednesday!

Shocking news, to hear that hundreds of people and businesses are without water in areas of King's Lynn, for over 30 hours now, because of a ruptured pipe. I hadn't quite realised how serious it was until I chatted with someone I know on the phone this evening. See the full story here and here.

Don't forget to open windows tonight (if cooler than your room), but ensure they are ALL shut before sunrise. Every curtain and blind closed, even a crack in the curtains can allow heat to stream in. If you have dodgy curtains as I have, use a clothes peg to keep them together!

Now filling my hot water bottles with cold water for the night. I also saw someone on Twitter suggest that soaking a flannel in cold water, squeezing it out and then putting in a plastic bag in the freezer, is wonderful to sleep with too! Did that earlier! Also placing ice-cubes in a bowl and then place in front of your fan, will help the room to be cooler.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/heat-exhaustion-heatstroke/

Leave a shallow bowl of water out for any hedgehogs or other wildlife and especially the birds!

Forecast for King's Lynn over the next three days:



 

The last time I left King's Lynn and the last time I went birding was on the 29th May!!! I have missed so much, Spotted Sandpiper at Titchwell RSPB being the main one – it would have been a 'tick' and of course the Bee-eaters at Trimingham – although I'm hoping I will still might be lucky with those, being as they are still there. But more than anything I have seriously missed the sea and the coast and just somewhere nice to walk, without getting the feeling you are going to get mugged in crappy King's Lynn, plus its not really a place to go birding, lets be honest! Its the longest time I have not been birding in all the 21 years I have lived here.

Overall I'm loads better than I was, but can't return to work until I have seen the Occupational Health doctor – the appointment is next week on Monday 25th July, what will happen after that I don't know. I am still waiting for the MRi appointment too. So, today I decided to escape before I lost the plot completely. I went out extremely early and arrived at Titchwell RSPB at around 6.30am. The drive was fine, so no issues with driving now. I know that I'm not strong enough yet to carry my camera gear, very sadly. Today was a test. I normally spend ages packing the car up with all my gear, but all I put in the car were my binoculars, a bottle of water and that was it!

I felt very emotional heading to the coast – parked up at Titchwell RSPB and ambled slowly towards the visitor centre with only my lightweight binoculars (good job I changed them) and a bag with a bottle of water in, reading and sun glasses. Its the lightest walk I have ever done and it felt so weird and wrong not to have my camera with me! I walked straight out to the sea, it was so beautiful to be out again and it did me the world of good, I can't put into words how I felt. On reaching the beach, I sat for ages on a dune, simply watching the sea rolling in. It was high tide in a short while and I had timed it perfectly. The walk out was fairly cool believe or not, it was far hotter in King's Lynn! I watched 6 Ringed Plovers fly in west along the beach, which was lovely to see and Little Terns and Sandwich Terns flew along the shore, magical! Everything was lovely to see, I felt almost reborn! The only negative thing was the amount of tissues/paper all the way along the main bank – I dread to think what they were used for.

I was obviously limited with no scope or camera, but saw the usual birds: Avocets with youngsters which made me sad as they were teenagers, I have missed seeing cute fluffy Avocet chicks this year! The light on the freshmarsh at this time of the day is poor at best and especially in the sunshine, but I could see various gulls, Common Terns, Little Egrets, Black-tailed Godwits, some Ruff, Redshanks etc. I also got lucky and saw a couple of Bearded Tits, some Linnets, a Reed Bunting and one Stonechat. No sign of any Bittern though, which others have been seeing regularly. I realised how seriously unfit I have become, as when I returned to the visitor centre, I almost felt I had walked one way to Blakeney Point – oh dear! It was so nice to see Chris S., Trevor G. and Richard today, the first birders I have seen since May too! I did have slight twinges in my neck and spine on and off, so it was a good test, as I definitely would not have managed the camera gear or/and tripod and scope!

I sat at a picnic table in complete shade and had a very special time photographing a Robin with my iPhone – who needs an SLR?! After finding out that cheese scones are now £3.50, I had a millionaires shortbread instead with a cup of tea and sat here for quite a while, just enjoying being out and the much needed change of scene. The Robin got lucky with a few crumbs of my millionaires shortbread. The heat hit and I left.

I drove straight home, but via Lighthouse Road in Hunstanton to see how many people were out in the heat – the clifftop car park was like sardines, packed out with vehicles and the cliff top road was packed out with cars all the way along to the bowling green! At Heacham the traffic was queueing for the coast as I cruised home with no traffic issues, arriving back at around 11am. I spent the rest of day with my new Meaco fans!

I will post the Robin pictures another day.

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