Saturday, 29 September 2012

Plane Twitch (just)

I had never been on a plane twitch before so surprised that the roads around the former RAF Bitterswell base in Leicestershire were chock a block with aviation fans and rubber-necks when Bob and April offered us a chance to see the 60th anniversary flight of XH558 “Delta Lady”.
This Vulcan jet-powered delta wing strategic bomber was celebrating its birthday by flying from its base at Doncaster over a number of sites related to its history and certainly gathered a crowd where we were. 
I thought birders on a twitch can be a little forgetful when it comes to parking etiquette but here folks were even worse, in the end the police had to take control of the situation.
Having found a good spot we were joined by the “experts” who pointed out the likely direction it would make its approach towards us only for Bob to contradict them by suddenly shouting “its behind us” but at least we managed a view while others dipped because its low altitude meant there views were blocked. Bob was more on the ball than me and managed a decent shot. The odd one or two were even oblivious it had flown by and were wondering why everybody else was leaving.
XH558 is maintained by a charity and this 3 hour jaunt which also took in Coventry and Birmingham Airports, RAF Cosford, Gloucestershire Airport, Bristol Filton Airport, Cardiff Airport, MOD St Athan, Ross-on-Wye and RAF Halton, before returning to Doncaster was at a cost of £22,000 in fuel, just think of the Nector Points you would get with that on a forecourt.
Only birds seen today were a Peregrine over my house this morning and 3 Buzzards and 2 Meadow Pipits waiting for Delta Lady.
the twitch begins

more arrive

a bit far but record shot

luckily Bob re-acted faster than me

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