Some birthdays are pretty special. 25th April 2013
Birthdays. When you were a young child, right up till your late teens they are important to you. From presents and parties to going out late and not quiet remembering what happened. There important at that age.
As you grow older the fun goes out of them little by little till you start to dread the dam date arriving. Subsequently you get to the point where the majority of the time its best left not said, it hoping it goes past nice and quickly.
However, once in a while a birthday comes along and surprises you. Not like in a surprise party or meal that someone has sneaked about getting sorted for you whether you had an idea of it or not. A genuine experience of 'wow, I'm not going to forget that for a while. That was nice!' birthday.
We that's what happened to me on mine.
It started like any other day does. You get up, make yourself ready then decided what your going to do with yourself to alleviate the impending hours that await you. For me I decided I was going to go out and do a bit of bird watching and photography.
I'd looked on Bins Click here to see if there was anything interesting on there area and sure enough there was down at my local patch of landguard. I packed my camera and off I went.
I arrived at Landguard and made my way onto the common and noticed a group at a distance who had cameras and were watching something. I approached them and introduced myself. Listened to what they were talking about and was watching the dozen or so Wheatears feeding. Then one of the gentlemen said his goodbyes, picked his camera up and walked off. He seemed to be heading off to look for something so I followed, caught up with the gentlemen and we started chatting. We saw a couple of Meadow Pipits and a nice Male Linnet It was a few minutes into our conversation that I caught a glimpse of the man at just the right netangle to suddenly realise who I was in the company of.
Until my birthday, because the man I was talking to, the glimpse I had had. It was then that I realised to my total and utter amazement that it was John Richardson! My idol!
Of course I was trying my hardest to just act as normal as possible. After all you don't want to jump right in and make yourself look like a total crazed person gibbering away saying "I'm your number one fan!" (Sorry, reference to the movie 'Misery' there.)
However inside I could hardly contain myself.
I explained myself to him and properly introduced myself. When I had done that, he then went on to say he had seen some of my work and had heard of me! Well, that did it, I was total blown away by that bit of news I can tell ya.
Anyway, he was going to go look for a Grasshopper Warbler that was down near the ferry from a text alert he had received. He had never seen on, just heard it. I asked if I could join him to which he agreed.
This really couldn't get any better, I thought to myself. My birthday, meeting John, going to go photograph with him a uncommon bird. Yes flaming please!!
We travelled down to the Ferry. Took a bit of time working out from the instructions that the alert had giving to where the bird was but once we had found it we spent our time chatting and waiting patiently for an opportunity to photograph it. For some reason once your in John's company thing seem to happen that luck alone cant explain. Because within minutes the little bird, which is supposed to be a fairly elusive and shy species, was in the brush next to us singing its heart out in front of me and John.
Whilst we were waiting we were watching other birds coming over the sea way and off into the distance. I was even able to get a flight shot of a Little Egret that came over.
Sure enough after a little waiting about (John going for a dip in a nearby watery ditch. We'll say no more Mr Richardson.) The bird moved position out into the open.
It was getting close to time for me to have to leave for work. I was ecstatic with what had happened that morning and it will stay with me for a very long time. Plus the sunburn which I had no idea I had till I arrived at work will remind me for a while at least!
All I can say really is. Thank you John for making THIS birthday special.