Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Tufted Puffin

Good grief! The Red-billed Tropicbird and the Blackburnian Warbler were enough for any week. But no. This morning the phone rang with an excitable and slightly panicking news operator on the end: "I can't get a Tufted Puffin to be a Mega!". I was pondering why on earth one would want a Tufted Puffin to be a Mega as the penny slowly dropped. There was one. Really. In the UK.

Cue quickfire questioning and lots of swearing. Who, what, where, how, WTF? Are we sure? I pressed the big Mega button with trembling fingers and rang Mark Golley: "There's a Tufted Puffin! Yes seriously. Don't know - get yourself to Kent."

The phone immediately rang again: the Press Association. Then it went a bit nuclear. The Guardian, the BBC, photo desk editors, updates from the scene, more press, all interspersed with the usual daily tasks. Slowly the news began to take shape. Yes it was real, there are photos and a magical seven lucky people saw it. Bets are taken as to where it's going to turn up: should we all go and stake out Westminster Bridge with sardines for chum? Is it already whirring past Porthgwarra? Has anyone phoned round the collections yet?

We're all rather dazed. Fingers crossed for the wee gem turning back up tomorrow so that everyone has a fighting chance of seeing this unexpected First for Britain and Ireland. Some of you will remember my previous plea for prospective firsts - this wasn't on it.

1 comment:

Alan Tilmouth said...

Cracking job getting the news out. A rather strange location let's hope that location is not relevant and nobody has lost one.Lack of ice in the north west passage ushering in a new era of Pacific megas in the WP?