Our final day on The Wash for a little while, one that didn't go quite as smoothly as we'd hoped. It started well, but the clouds gathered, and it soon became clear that the weather forecast that had predicted less than 5% chance of rain was going to be wrong. We arrived back at the car just as the rain set in, and quickly re-arranged our belongings so that we could eat our packed lunch under cover, before heading off to our next parking place.
The rain eventually eased, but when we started getting ourselves ready for the next survey area, Chris realised he hadn't got his clipboard, which contained both his notes from the morning, and from our previous day of survey. He remembered having it at the previous car-park, so we thought he must have put it down while we were moving things about. Fortunately it wasn't far away, so we drove back expecting to find it on the ground - but no sign. We decided that he'd probably put it on the roof, so drove slowly back along the road but couldn't spot it. We repeated this again, before deciding that we'd better get on with the rest of today's survey.
Before we left I suggested that we had one more look, to save him the job of coming back the next day, and repeating his survey in Storm Alex. Luckily, this time he spotted it, about half way along the road. It had stayed on the roof for much longer than we'd expected, given that there was at least one steep slope and a sharp bend before this point. We both heaved a huge sigh of relief - I suspect he'll never forget to file his notes safely again!
To help us wind down after a somewhat stressful afternoon, we dropped in at Frampton Marsh on the way home. It was incredibly atmospheric, the fen sky filled with huge rain clouds, with the low sun breaking through intermittently. Flocks of pink-footed geese, dunlin, lapwings and golden plover added to the experience. And I saw my first, very distant, short-eared owl of the year, hunting over the saltmarsh. The day ended with a spectacular rainbow, and we found it hard to tear ourselves away from the scene, though both we and our cameras were really rather wet by the time we finally left. A fine way to end our trying day.