Regular visits to Gilroy over my last couple of days off have yielded increasing numbers of birds but no colour ringed individuals.
It's only mid morning on the first day of my working week and I'm already planning an evening trip to Gilroy to see if any more Black-tailed Godwits have dropped in. There could be other passage stuff too, a trip to Gilroy is never a wasted journey!
I have a particularly daft alert for text messages on my mobile phone, and at ten to eleven Yoda announces that ther is a "message from the darkside" waiting for me.
UNLOCK * and I read ON-OR at Gilroy. A colour ringed bird has come in overnight. A trip there after work is a must! A quick look in my notebook tells me that I've not seen this bird before, but it has been seen on the Dee in previous years.
By 11.30 I have seriously itchy feet for a dart to Gilroy. I manage to hold on until lunchtime when I was planning to go home for a plate of beans on toast. I decide on a butty on the run and a look for the Godwit!
I arrive and there are a few roosing on the bankside and quite a lot feeding in the water, the usual probing with the head submerged, stitching busily before throwing their head back and swallowing whatever they've caught.
Trouble is that when feeding like this you can't see see the legs, and some of the roosting birds are stood on one leg. Only getting 2 of 4 rings is soooooo frustrating!
I was hoping that I'd turn up and get cracking views of the rings inside 5 mins and whip off for a coronation chicken on brown from Hector's Sandwich Shop. I should know better by now, patience is required with colour ringing!
But for once my luck is in and I catch sight of a colour ring with my first sweep with the scope. Bonus!
A closer look and I get all 4 rings, orange over black on the left and orange over red on the right.
I'm really rather chuffed, but more than a little hungry! So I grab the sandwich and I'm back at work within the hour, my second colour ringed godwit of the autumn.
I'll be checking again tomorrow....