As the black blanket of night turned to the orange of a rural French sunrise behind my eyelids the pain was excruciating.
No way was I opening my peepers.
Nerve endings screaming, just a twitch of my little finger sent shockwaves coursing right the way back to hangover central in my addled brain.
Over 25 years later and I can still remember the consequences of a night drinking too much eau de vie with wonderful European friends and family in the tiny village of Meon in the Loire.
The worst thing was a Serin was belting out its “crushed glass” song from the apex of the roof just above my head.
It was like a drill, unceasing and merciless.
I’ve never really forgiven the little yellow weasels for that, and have gone out of my way to avoid Serins ever since.
Until today, when urged along by Neill Hunt, I hopped into the wheels in the early hours and sped over to Easington (I know, a third trip to Spurn in a month – but what’s wrong with that?), where a male Serin has been coming to feeders off Vicar’s Lane for the last few days.
It was time to put the Serin hoodoo to bed.
I was overlooking the garden and feeders before 8am, and a short time later the Serin flew in to stuff its face.
Flighty and nervous, perhaps because of the high winds, the bird kept its distance but gave great views (no rings, wings and bill all okay) out on the moss-covered tarmac in front of me.
In case you think you recognise the site, it’s probably because you do – remember that glorious October in 2016?
Yup, it’s where “you know who” graced so many of our lives…
Many thanks must go to Tony Broom for keeping the seed topped up for his little yellow visitor.
The Serin wasn’t that bad actually, at least it didn’t sing.
In fact after an hour or so watching as it came and went, I’d almost forgiven it for the Meon incident.
Serin sorted I headed on down the point, but a brisk westerly was blasting across Spurn making it hard to pick up on much.
A Honey Buzzard had moved north over the lighthouse shortly before I got to the Canal Zone, but a big raptor that pitched down into the saltmarsh on the banks of the Humber in front of me turned out to be a Common Buzzard.
Such is life.
Yellowhammers were singing at Easington Cemetery, where good numbers of hirundines hawked in the shelter of the trees, while Whitethroats and Sedgies perservered in the gusty conditions, before I headed back west.