Setting Off From Sandwell valley

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

I've been Robbed!

Now, who in their right mind would steal one panner but not both? Who would take all the cycling tools but leave the expensive cycling helmet? Who wouldn't steal the lads - Barnaby, Sidney, Albert and Alberta? [the cuddly toys on the bike. Who indeed? The collection box on the front of the bike; well I understand the motive there. Now if anyone can give any information on who took these items whilst I stupidly looked over Ouse Fen RSPB reserve then please get in touch. How naive can I be? Maybe Shetland and it's no crime outlook had lulled me into a false sense of security but I wasetty stupid having locked the bike near-ish to the main road.

The panneir stolen contained some clothes, food, maps and the mobile phone charger. The cycling tools stolen from both panniers outside pockets.

Now am I downhearted over this. Not really. Frustrated that I will never meat the perpetrator[s] I can't be too down because people; friends and RSPB staff at Ouse washes, have been so fantastically wonderful. A tent was found for me as half of the one bought for me by my dear daughter Rebecca had gone with the pannier. A few tools were also given and some gloves too. Thanks Jon and Liam. Nicola brought me a sandwich box and, bless her, she even wanted to cycle home, cook me some pizza and chips, cycle back to the reserve and then cycle home again. I couldn't accept such kindness but was very grateful for the thought. Super people. Friends from home volunteered to buy what had been stolen and bring it to me from Wolverhampton and Worcestershire! Thanks Ian and Phil. Another very dear friend, Diane phoned to insist that I stay in a B & B on her. I didn't but once again was grateful and appreciative.

Now if I put a positive light on the experience, I've only had three such negatives in a whole year. The collection box being stolen in Kenilworth, my MP3 player stolen whilst in the library in Fort William and now this. Also my bike is now a lot lighter!

OK, let's talk birds.

Have been to Nene Washes, Fen Drayton, Ouse Fen [!] and Ouse Washes RSPB Reserves and Welney WWT reserve. The latter was the final one of the WWT's nine reserves to be visited so my first target for the year has been achieved.

Highlights bird-wise include stonechats, peregrine, hundreds of whoopers and bewicks, marsh harriers and thousands of ducks.

Joined in with the WEBS count at Ouse Washes; getting up at 5.15am to be out in my alloted hide for first light. The eventual co-ordinated count was around 7,000 whoopers and 1,200 Bewicks.

Now at Lakenheath RSPB reserve after a comfy night in another church porch. This one had a motion sensitive light!

Saw 5 cranes, 6 marsh harriers, a barn owl, some beardies and water rail and an adult yellow-legged gull amongst the 40 species on the day list. Superb people here met too. Dave White and Steve, Liz [thanks for the pork pie] and John. Great people!

Next on the itinerary is to search the Brecks for woodlark, lesser-spotted woodpeckers and firecrest. Wish me luck as I need all three to get near to the non-motorised year list record.

Right time to go.

All the best,


North Norfolk for the next 10 days. If anyone can spare a bed please phone 07988754090 or email     Thanks everyone.

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