Thursday, August 14, 2008

Food and drink

Essential sustenance during the seawatch. This morning I opened my bag to find an incorrect biscuit, indeed a packet of the same. Ah, sending the wife shopping for seawatching supplies, what better could I have expected? The digestive is not a seawatcher's biscuit. It has many disadvantages (or at least a lot of one disadvantage) compared to the fig roll or the Jaffa cake. It is surpassed by many a modern confection and by that great seawatching delicacy and most practical of snacks, flapjack (when correctly prepared). So this morning I did espy a few seabirds 6 Arctic Skuas; 4 Great Skuas; 6 Manx Shearwaters; 75 Common Terns and 110 Sandwich Terns but was much distracted by the repeated need to upturn the binoculars to remove that dreaded hindrance, crumbs.

This was all brought back whilst enjoying a well considered Christmas present that has kept my attention for these many months, the box set of Still Game. IMHO a work of some considerable genius. The episode "Scran" reminded me of some thoughts I had had whilst considering the dismal numbers of Kittiwakes passing the Old Nab this very morn. The said digestives led me to consider how a New Tory might engage with the seawatching snack issue. Perhaps a pre-ordered hamper from Fortnum's woud be awaiting the liberalised toff as he unzipped his Cath Kidston patterned scope case. Or maybe in the spirit of roughing it for the paparazzi a simple healthy fruit breakfast would be sliced and prepared in situ and spooned into the eager orifice by a minimum waged assistant. Ah, but this is the beauty of a quiet watch, an opportunity to indulge ones mind in offbeat perambulation.

Offbeat were the Great Cormorants. Clearly some urgency to head east and south out of Tees Bay had struck the local population of this mega fish scoffer as 26 headed past me over the two and a bit hours. Several others loitered around the Nab and some additional carbo may have snuck past close inshore and under my line of vision, unacceptable behaviour in (or actually not) my view. Later at Scaling Dam a rare moment as a cormorant landed on the new bank in front of the hide. A-ha, I thought, an opportunity for a photo and then protractor to hand, at my leisure, some gular measurement fun a la "Bordering Birding", but it was a fantasy ...

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