Undeterred we continued our quest for birds, spurred on by the tractor driver from near ‘Riber’ ,as we are now calling it, who gave detailed instructions to access inland lakes we left home by 7 (ish) the following morning. He regretted the fact we had not been there the week before when the shore was ‘covered’ with ‘thousands’ of birds. ‘They just went’ he said.
Winding routes through wooded sandy lanes, past manicured ‘Husets’, past delapidated farms and rather frightening institutionalised buildings which unwillingly brought thoughts of concealed abuse with them- who would know? – and of course gorgeous picnic sites and fascinating churches we finally found an area full of wildlife – hares, kestrels, peregrine falcons, brent geese, tufted ducks,a black stilt, shelduck, tufted ducks, indeterminate terns, sparrowhawks, curlews, lapwings, swans, oysterctachers – and eight avocets.
Never before have I knowingly identified an avocet. Now, whilst N and R at times dozed in the sun in the car, at times joined us, we spent a full hour watchiing these elegant, beautiful, inimitable birds with their pied plumage and upturned beaks doing what avocets do – being, poddling, flying, feeding – and I’ll never, I swear, mistake them again.
SO worth it yet by lunchtime we felt tired and so adjourned for a siesta. Reasonable – we’d walked a bit the day before. It was hot.
Knowing that we’d missed the Sort Sol, ‘Black Sun’*, where thousands of starlings in a murmuration swirl around the sky for around an hour at dusk, we neverthless visited the vantage point for seeing them that evening…. not a starling in site but some wonderful wildlife – and great pics by R.
Home for more well earned rest. But the man in the pizza outlet next door to the Airbnb, Ahmed, the man with the beautiful smile and big wave every time we walked past – he walked to Ribe from Afghanistan two years ago. And we thought we were tired.
- March/April and August-October