I received news of a Booted Warbler on Blakeney Point at 5.40pm just as i finished work and then deliberated if i had time to see it before darkness fell. I concluded yes, but only just. I jogged home a normal 35min walk done in 20min. A quick change and drive up to Cley and Laura and i were at the 'Coastguards' by 7pm. Leaving Laura in the car i (stupidly) jogged up the point getting to Halfway House in 25minutes and Yankie Ridge in about 40min. Along the way i had caught up with Gary and apparently ran past a Bluethroat! After all this effort i was horrified to find not a single birder at the Booted Warbler site, we worked the Suadea along the ridge but flushed very little, one promising warbler was briefly seen but couldn't be relocated in the fading light. After an hour of hunting the light was to bad so admitting defeat we started walking back. At Halfway House, I'm not sure what came over me, probably a combination of cold and guilt at leaving Laura in the car (now in the pitch black) but i jogged from here back to the car. Blakeney Point can be a wonderful place and turns up so many great birds, but this year I'm finding it a cruel place, of 4 trips i have returned empty handed on of 3 occasions. Little return for my invested efforts, but I'm sure I'll be doing it all again sometime soon.
I recently moved back to North Walsham and needing a new local patch, I soon settled on a few of my old favourite sites, but they were spread around town. All are close to the old railways track beds and my new house sits at the apex of all 5 lines that once radiated out from North Walsham, these form the arteries joining everything up. My 'Birding Alone Old Lines' patch was born, revisiting the old birding sites of youth, via the Old Railway Newtworks.