Skegness, Lincs - Pat and I are just back from a long weekend `up north` with our old friends Pat and Stuart from Dunstable at a 1970`s music festival at Skegness. A real blast from the past with old Glam Rocker favourites such as Mud, Sweet and Slade still going strong in their various guises complete with a few original band members; the last time I saw all three was in 1973/4 when they still had hair and were all very much alive! Cockney Rebel and The Blockheads could still knock out a tune, although sadly Steve Harley looked like a man not long for this world.
I`m not normally a fan of tribute acts but Clearwater Creedence Revival did put on a decent show. However, as is often the case at festivals, there is nearly always a surprise act which knocks you out and that accolade went to Phil Bates & The Berlin String Orchestra who performed the music of ELO. They were simply superb and are currently on tour around the UK, so if you`re a lover of the great Jeff Lynne`s tunes I would highly recommend catching up with them some time.
Crossing the Fenland en-route to and from Skegness I had forgotten what a desolate place the flatlands are with vast open fields of brassicas, spuds and corn and hardly a bird to be seen anywhere apart from a few Buzzards and Kestrels perched on roadside posts.
However, things were much better along the coast where on two mornings we walked along the foreshore noting hundreds of sea duck moving south, mainly Eiders and Common Scoters along with a few Velvet Scoters and Red-breasted Mergansers, plus several parties of Brents. The beach slacks at low tide attracted a good number of waders, particularly Redshank, Curlew and Dunlin.
Around the Butlin`s complex Goldcrests were numerous and some of the Blackbirds, Robins and Song Thrushes were probably migrants. On Sunday night a steady overhead passage of Redwings could be heard coming in off the North Sea.