Sunday, 27 December 2009

Guest Entry

Today is the first of our guest entries where we ask a reader to contribute a diary entry from their notebooks.
Dave, 43, is a lorry driver and gives us a fascinating account of his trip to Spurn in October 98.
Dave, over to you.

Alright.  I started early.  Got in my lorry before dawn broke.  I put my binoculars in the glove compartment but I had to take out yesterdays chip wrapper and a copy of Razzle first.
Got out on the road, just as we like it.

I'd been out on the road for about half an hour and I'd already had a 'copy' with another trucker from Hartlepool, breaker breaker one nine for a copy!  I love saying that. I decided to pull in just off the M62 near South Cave.  Parked my lorry up and had a kip.
When I woke up I got out of my big lorry to find that Denise's Diner had opened which came 41st in 'Trucking Monthly' magazine's top 100 greasy spoons survey from 97.
I took my Daily Sport out of my arse pocket and ordered a tea and a breakfast.
The breakfast came in good time and only the knife was dirty, the fork was nearly spotless, happy days!
I'd ordered the 'Lorry breakfast' which is just what blokes like me want.  2 Bacon, 2 Sausage, 2 Eggs, beans, tomatoes (tinned, not grilled), Black Pudding and this one at Denise's comes with both fried bread AND toast!  Now you're starting to see why us truckers like it here at Denise's!  £3.50 the lot.  Not bad eh?  They do takeaway too.  Finished breakfast and back on the road, just as we like it.

Put Chris Rea on the cd player.  He's great to drive to, brilliant he is.
Down the motorway and a Kestrel was hovering at the side of the road.  Nice that.  Real nice.  I didn't know they hovered though.  Nice that.

Nearly through Hull now, on the road, just as we like it.

Stopped off at Hedon Road Cafe, 10th on the top 100 so a must visit for anyone passing in a big lorry.  Coffee this time, plus a 'Medium Brekkie' they call it here.  I prefer it when a cafe calls it a 'Breakfast' and not a 'brekkie' cos I think it sounds common.
Anyway, the cutlery was quite clean and my brekkie came in good time.  2 Bacon, just 1 Sausage, Beans, 1 Egg, and 2 Toast.  I think here you get the option of either fried bread OR toast and also the option the have scrambled egg instead of fried which is a great option to have.  It's up to you!  Good that.  That lot came to £2.80 which isn't bad.  Everything was cooked nice and the tablecloth was the bog-standard "Red-checked Square" for any of you tablecloth listers out there.  Finished that, out on the road, just as we like it.

Just pulling into Patrington and I realised that time was pressing on, so I didn't take the turn off to Spurn, I stayed on the Withernsea road.  On arrival in Withernsea I met up with some other truckers.  I parked in behind their 'cabs' as we say in the trade. I took a step back and viewed the 4 big lorries all in a row.  "Hey lads, we've got ourselves a convoy!" I shouted.  Everyone thought it was really, really funny, especially 'Rubber Duck' whose real name is Kris.

We went into Alan's Quality Grub (AQG to the lads) which came in at 68th in the Truckers Monthly survey but I think it should be a lot higher.  As we walked in a Black-headed Gull was hunting for scraps outside. Nice that.  Really nice.  A dinner special consisted of Mash, Steak Pie, Peas, Gravy and 3 slices of Bread and Butter. Lovely.  The butter melted as you put the mash and gravy in the bread, a really good sign of a good cafe.  Finished that and was back out on the road again, just as we like it.  Finally got to Spurn just as the themetune to 'Convoy' came on the radio.  Chris Rea had finished.  Funny that, we'd only been talking about a bit ago in AQG! 

Parked up in the canal scrape car park but by this time there was only about an hour of light left!  Bloody Hell!  I toyed with the idea of getting straight back on the road, just as we like it because by the time I hit Hull again the Chinese in town would be opening and I could have that in my cab on the way home.
No, that can wait for later, I'm here for some birding, so I'm gonna do some birding!

Drove the lorry upto the gate where you can look out over the Humber.  Wound the window down and got my binoculars out, magic!  I could just make out a Grey Plover feeding in the mud.  Nice that.  Really nice.  Then a couple of Dunlin came into view.  Then I had a little bit of a kip. 

All in all, a good day out, got home about 6 the next morning, there's some good all-nighters that just do takeaway butties on the way back to Leeds.  Been out for 24 hours solid in the lorry with about half an hour's top birding.  I'll certainly be visiting Spurn again and I'd recommend it to anyone.

Thanks to Dave, there.  A really good read with some interesting birds pointed out.
Join us again next week when our guest entry will feature another stereotyped proffession.

Look at this Proper Trucking


Sunday, 20 December 2009

More boredom.....

Being on the mobile phone in our house is a random game of receiving a signal.  Stood right at the front window there's a chance of getting one, so there I was.....
Reader:  "This post hasn't started very well".
I realise that it's not the most interesting of entries yet but it may get better, stick with it.
Reader:  "No"
Fair enough.
Notice how I wrote "Reader" as in singular, not "readers" because there is only one of you.
I'm not bothered.

So there I was on the phone looking out of the window when a Woodcock flew up the middle of the road, about 2 metres off the ground, looking very out of place.  Crazy.

Easy this one.

And this one
Now here's one where the answer is not Woodcock,
so it's a bit harder.......
There's a prize if anyone gets it......

Now that is DEFINATELY funny.

It's true, I really need something to write about.
Suppose I should go birding but I'm too busy.
I'm still bored, but probably not as bored as you after reading that.
Soon be Christmas.


Thursday, 10 December 2009

Firsts for Britain.....

I think Fair Isle has accounted for nearly 30 additions to the British List, or something like that.  How many is it?  Please tell me. Or don't.  I think I read it somewhere once.  Or maybe I didn't.
So how many has Spurn accounted for?  I don't know......

Erm......Stilt Sandpiper. About 1954?  I could just look it up on the net, but I'm going to try off the top of my head, so this lot could be miles off!
Now then, Greater Sand Plover?  No, I seem to think that wasn't actually the first.
Penduline Tit?  Is that one?
I'm not even going to mention Demoiselle Crane (wankers), Mottled Swift (twats) and Oriental Cuckoo (not bothered didn't see it).
Marmora's Warbler?  No, I think that singing one in South Yorkshire was before that.  This bird, if I remember rightly, was found by the old dear that used to bird Spurn many years ago.  I tell you what, she was keen.  She was always in the field, bless 'er.  She always had a head scarf on, anyone remember her?  Anyway, I think it was her that found the Marmora's and asked for help to confirm the ID.

Spotted Towhee?  It was accepted as a western race and therefore an unlikely vagrant, so rejected on possibility of being an escapee.
Black Lark.  Black Lark I hear you say?  Oh yes mamma!
1985?  May, no April is in my head.

I came across the excerpt in Central Library concerning the finding of Britain's first Black Lark:

"Twas the early morn.  A soft mist had drifted melancholy south and out of danger.  I wandered along the peninsula, seven whores in tow, I was but a minute away from the mythical moment.  I strolled, then stopped. I lifted field glasses to beneath my brow and took aim at the wondrous creature that behold me.  It was black.  With strange magical white fringes to the feathers about it's person.  The bill was almost creamy, reminiscent of the chicken soup we'd had the whores serve up during last eve's banquet in Dunbirdin.  The bird stooped neath the weather most horrid and revealed a penis so bulbous and foul that we were in no doubt that we were, indeed, watching a male Lark" taken from The Memoirs of Barry Spence, 1975.

Seriously, I think Nick would be pleased to know it's now been accepted.  Rest in Peace.