It’s not the walk out that’s the problem, it’s the trudge home in the dark

They are out there somewhere

On the right evening when the clouds clear and the sun sets over the Wash, Snettisham on the North Norfolk coast must be one of the best places in the UK to see large numbers of waders swooping and flying to avoid the incoming tide.

Full marks to the RSPB, they tell you when high tide and sunset roughly coincide. They also suggest a time when you ought to leave the car park to view the display produced by the flocks of Knot. The time they suggest always seems a bit early, but the best displays are about 30 to 40 minutes before high tide and it’s a long way to walk for the best views. There are other birds to see of course, Dunlin, Oyster Catchers and of course Geese.

As so often happens I seemed to follow the rain. Living in anticipation that the lunchtime weather forecast was correct and that the sun would eventually come out, I set off from the car park with all the other hopefuls.

Eventually the sun did come out, but in the latter part of the year there wasn’t a great deal of warmth in it. “It’ll be all right” one of the regulars reassured me, “they don’t like walking in water when it’s too cold, they’ll go for a whirl in a minute.”  I reckon the shop steward birds were listening because sure enough large numbers of birds took off time and time again. Nice patterns too.

Once the sun had disappeared and the tide had turned the show was over.  Those with cameras and those with scopes began the long trail back to the car park. The same question in everyone’s mind – will the chippy be open?

Have a good weekend