GUIDE and Bird Co
Melvin Cruz, SU Birding Tours
WHY and WHEN
Had enough of sitting at home? Had enough of sparrows in your garden?
Fed up of the BBC telling you about your mental health during lockdown?
Yes. That was Steve – so he got the call that Melvin was available for some guiding in Costa Rica.
That was in April and he has been planning since then. The whole country did not officially open up until August – and then with on/off news – he planned it for September.
At last the trip was on.
‘Nuff sitting at home with those idiots telling us all not to go away, we were outbound for San Jose.
I had been out in March of this year and had a good result in the south of the country. So my target list was small – perhaps 30 or 40 birds only. But there was a Big 3 to get – trogon, bellbird and that spotless owl.
We were “hit and running” – no hotels booked, a good guide and the biggest Landcruiser we could rent. A full tank and a pack of cigarettes. Swarovskis.
Hit it Jake and Elwood!
DAY 1 - Arrival
We had this covered. You need a 72hr PCR result, insurance that states $50k cover for a Covid hospitalisation and their own entry form with a QR code done within 48hrs of arrival.
This is checked at Heathrow and Frankfurt before the long-haul.
On arrival at San Jose they scan the QR and find our insurance is not up to standards. Pulled to a different area, they have to call Melvin to guarantee he will cover our hospital fees in the event of infection.
He does after several calls back and forth.
We are let through at last. Ahhh, the smell of a new continent after tame trips to Europe under this ebb and flow of corona fear.
Green Motion, our purveyors of a Land Cruiser were not there to meet us, so a taxi to their address ended up with a half hour wait for someone to turn up with the car keys. Job done and thence to the Hotel Robledal, an airport hotel with a good birdy garden.
It depends on which way it is from the runway as to how close your “airport hotel” is. Bad call. It took us 2 hours to get there.
Fortunately Stevo has patience and an eidetic memory for maps and we make it. We are the only 2 clients there, apart from two stunning Austrian girls who laugh at the concept of sharing a dinner table. “Das is Covid” they say.
“Nein das is zwei old fat blokes from London” I reply. Such is a birders way in the world.
I had stayed here last March – Pre-Apocalypse - so knew Steve had a lot of newbies in the garden of the hotel. We arranged to meet at 05.30 to nail some for him, but he had gotten up early and gottem’ all before then.
We breakfasted near the Austrian models who were flying to meet some footballers and still couldn’t understand why we wanted to look at birds.
Enough already – what was a full hotel in March with a breakfast buffet, is now an egg from the menu - isolation food with plastic wrapped cutlery.
Let’s hit La Selva. Booked a while ago.
We weaved through SJ we get to the main road to Limon which goes through Brauillo Carillo and on to La Selva. I had done this route before, but as we get to the toll-booth for this road – there’s a problem. It’s blocked. Closed for 7 hours. So Plan A for the BC Ridge and potential lattice-tailed and blue and gold tanager is now redundant.
FFS, What next? We have to drive around Irazu Volcano to get to our destination, so we Plan B and try the Irazu hotspots. With my March memory of going there before, Stevo is excited as I will walk him up the route by the museum to get onto some hot birds.
I got the wrong darn trail, missed the correct route and so we did a few hours through potato fields to see nada.
I got it right later, and the Catarata Trial there had been clearly un-birded for half a year. Steve hits a couple of mixed flocks and a lot of newbies.
Back to the car which had not been broken in to, as happens in these parts, and let’s hit La Selva again.
We nailed it as the sun went down, and guess what? We were the only 2 guests staying – so oddly we were roomed right out the back in 1 room. We had booked 2. After a couple of “Madre Dias” we got what we paid for and settled into our 4 bunk bed rooms each. Steve pointed out – “it’s a shithole here” – I disagreed as there’s nothing wrong with ants in a room, but this is a recurrent theme with Mr Ridley.
Today our guide arrives at 11 on his motorbike, so we check the trails pre-brekky. It’s a ghost town though. Normally packed with Biology students and birders, we are the only people with binoculars in the place.
We get the Snowy Cotinga and the woodies available, and then the cavalry arrives on time. Mel on a Honda. Sweaty and wind-blown.
We go to his secret spot for roosting MIDDLE-AMERICAN SCREECH-OWL [as per previous reports, my newbies in capitals, the rest I am not too bothered with]
After some fraffing for manakins we go back to our rooms for a chill, and thus calls the Slaty-Breasted Tinamou. Right by the outdoor decks.
Did we see them? No. A ground-dove does a good imitation and raises the heartbeat, but the 2 buggers hid well and stayed off our tick-list.
Mel has a second spot for the tinamou, round the corner and up a hill from La Selva. We hear a distant one, despite the earthy clunks and yelps of Steve falling over on a greasy muddy trail as he has decided to wear some house-slippers for the evening’s birdage. Tinamou calls from afar and remains unseen, but we get CENTRAL-AMERICAN PYGMY OWL.
That will do for the day, time for dinner at the world’s best pizza place in Sarapiqui, a good half way stop as some fool [me] has booked the guide into a completely different hotel to us. Selva Lodge vs La Selva anyone? My bad.
DAY 4 – “The Day of Birds”
We have to head out at 4 a.m to get to pick up Mel at his hotel and arrive at Reserva Manuel Alberto Brenes for dawn. A long name for an area of forest, but probably better than the Children’s Eternal Rainforest next door – which sounds a tad creepy in these modern times.
We discover that the Landcruiser has no headlights at all, just a dull glow akin to a child’s light. Too late to take it back to the hapless Green Motion in SJ though.
Mel has scoped this spot a few days before, and has heard our targets as well as seeing the Ground-Cuckoo sunbathing by the trail.
And within a half-hour, guess what we see? 2 male LATTICE-TAILED TROGONS. Cue angels, fairy harps and a Hallelujah. As I had said to Mel and Steve, “we will see them as I am not going home without them” – but expected it to be harder. That was the main target of the lockdown breakout tour. And in the bag early-doors.
Mel hears target 2. The bellbird, and after much running up and down the trail, I get a female, but Steve spots the male. THREE-WATTLED BELLBIRD and at this time of year when they are migrating altitudonally from Monterverde to the coast and so could be anywhere in Pacific CR – classy birding.
Breakfast at a Soda after much hand gel and masks on and off. My love for fried plantain is only matched by Steve’s hatred of all Latino early meals. He eats some Hob-Nobs found from his bag.
On to Cano Negro.
Now this could be tricksy – it seems that as it is right by the Nicaraguan border, it has become a Covid hotspot. The government had open and closed this area more times than a Liverpool nightclub.
The Ticos grumble about the cross border Nicaraguans like a UKIP voter does about a lilo packed with Sudanese arriving at Dover. “They come here and bring us Covid” is the usual comment.
Fortunately for us, it was a straight run-through. Mel has arranged with a local birder to stay at his family’s hotel, the Kingfisher Lodge.
His mate is called Champix [probably wrong] and even before we get the keys to the rooms we have GRAY-HEADED DOVE and SPOT-BREASTED WREN in da bag.
Forget lunch – I have a big bag of Cheetos and Steve has to eat the Hob-Nobs before they weld into one biscuity treat.
We drive out to Medio Queso by the Nicaragua border. But stop for a NICARAGUAN SEED-FINCH by the roadside. I perform my perfected “New-Bird Celebration” as there is gravel underfoot and so easier for the moonwalk part of it.
Medio Queso literally means “ medium sized cheese” – it’s a long story involving cheese, a market and the cheese falling off a table. But I grew up in Piddletrenthide in Dorset so can empathise with silly place names - as that stems from a distance, X 30, and urination.
With the boatman and Champix on fire we nail YELLOW-BREASTED CRAKE and a PINNATED BITTERN.
A barbequed pork dinner in an empty restaurant is followed by night birding that throws up PACIFIC SCREECH-OWL and a big old potoo for Steve. 9 for the day which is 1 more than our previous Lockdown Breakout Tours to Spain and Azores combined. “Quelle jour” as is said in Brexit negotiations by the French.
DAY 5 – Cano Negro
After yesterday’s super-high, today is gonna be easy, we just have the grackle left to seal the deal here. And “C’mon Man”, as Joe would say – they are everywhere.
They were not. Up river to the lake, it seems the water level is too high. No pasture, no cows plodding around and so no grackles. All the other grackles were available, but not our wanted one.
We abandoned the boat for breakfast – Gallo Pinto all round, except Steve who had discovered a Hob-Nob in his back pocket and considered it edible still. Gallo Pinto is rice and beans , however Steve as the Michelin restaurant reviewer for Essex says - “It’s ****”
Champix had one more Hail-Mary for the grackle. The river – but the other way. He had asked some fishermen by the wharf if they had seen any cows and one had said – and excuse my rural translation:
“Down by bottom field, right after the horses and in the reeds”
He was right. NICARAGUAN GRACKLES by the score. And being all grackly by sitting on cows arses and generally being misbehaved. Job done here.
A good time to cut out and head North West a bit more into Guanacaste.
As this was a SU Bird Tour, nothing was
booked so our hotels were all either full or closed, but the Melster finds a diamond in the trash. Hotel Cocoa in Bijagua.
A night of fine dining alone in the local restaurant that is normally full precedes the heart thumping wait for tomorrows potential Wood-Quails.
DAY 6 – Bijagua Birding
We hit up Tapir Valley, a privately owned reserve to get wood-quailly on the trials. But nothing, all quiet. There is one bird that does sing after a few hours of silent forest birding. Mel plays back and lo, ‘tis the NORTHERN NIGHTINGALE WREN. A huge tick for me as the bugger used to trill outside my room in Canopy Lodge in Panama, but remained unseen.
Gotcha baby, at last.
We went to Heliconias Lodge as there were rumours of a rare quail-dove – but despite a 3 hour stake-out, the only interesting sighting was a female Finnish lister who now resides in CR. She had seen more birds than Steve and I combined. She wanted the quail-dove as a subspecies having seen the nominate in Brazil. Hard-core or what?
No one gets it despite the fact we do the whole trail which involves three hanging bridges, each one more terrifying than the last and call it a day to try the Wifi at the hotel and check on UK Covid news.
DAY 7- Bijagua Goose-chase
The rain was bad. We were aiming for a Yellow-winged Tanager. Steve and Mel got it early. It took me a few more hours to get the view. Turned out I had already seen it before in Panama when checking at home.
Gotta prep the list better for next time. Doh!
DAY 8 – Nada
On the road to Hacienda Gualchepin – our first Police check – we passed as I was driving and had the necessary documents locked firmly away in the suitcase. It took a while to get them out whilst hiding the combination for the case from the Feds - the passport and Drivers License were with all the money – and you know what can happen in these parts.
Steve and Mel get newbies with a couple of sparrows and mannakins.
My target, we thought we heard but was actually its eponymous insect. Grasshopper Sparrow, was just that, a grasshopper.
Hacienda Guachelpin was our evenings destination, an upmarket resort in Guanacaste.
This is the nicest place we have stayed – and with prices to match. An evening foray produces little of note. The spot for the rare tinamou here has been trashed by all the corralled horses that were idle during lockdown. Another sad consequence of this bloody virus.
This is my first scratch day – zero newbies. Steve is still on a roll though, getting near his 3K mark.
DAY 7 – Fumaroles and Tinamous
Since the Plain Wren went 3 ways – Canebrake, Isthmian and Cabanis’ – I had sort of assumed I had all 3, but a call to home – to look in the Big Book reveals the last one unticked.
Cue Benny Hill music and action as we run around playing the call as this is the last chance for this wren.
We get it – CABANIS’ WREN in a bush near the breakfast area – so we could all roll in there for food. No - actually, our masks are all in the rooms – such a pain. Steve fixes the Hob-Nob wrapper around his face but the hotel staff are not fooled.
The purpose of this lodge is that it is fed with hot thermal water from the volcano that dominates it. Most visitors just use the spas and pools, but there are some very birdy trails higher up, but once again in this country – they don’t open until 8 a.m.
We were the first through – globs of hand sanitiser and masks de
rigeur – and on to the trails.
We got it after a long walk – THICKET TINAMOU , all red legged and joyous.
Steve hits the 3K mark after a couple of good mixed flocks with a handful of newbies in each one. Ruddy Woodcreeper being the pick of them all.
We check out and hit the road down the coast towards Carara NP, but Mel has a Spotted Rail spot in rice fields on the way there.
The rice was “not quite right” – either too dry, or if perfect – no easy access for railing. We drew a blank here – but did get DICKISSEL.
[Surely the future star of “Carry on Birding”, when they make it. Sid James to Barbara Windsor “ What’s your favourite bird darlin’” with a wink. “Ooooh it’s the….” You get my drift.]
As it’s the weekend, all the decent hotels in Carara are fully booked. It seems the locals are happy to get out in force, but only on a Saturday and Sunday – this makes it difficult for Team Steve and Jules as we don’t want to plan ahead that much in case we miss stuff.
Hotel Tarcolitas sees us coming, and makes up a price. 70 bucks each for a crummy room with a fan, and looking out onto a “disco pool”. That’s where the Ticos bring amped up speakers and blast tunes out all night whilst all splashing around drunk on the atmosphere and cheap rum. “Pura Vida” everyone.
I can sleep through this as I live in London. Steve can’t – he’s from Norfolk.
DAY 8 – Carara to the Osa
No-sleep-Steve and Mel go off to find all things “mangrove”, finally getting the vireo at the last spot possible. Breakfast surrounded by hungover locals is followed by a quick exit to the Carara NP, once again not opening until 8 a.m.
I have the one only to get here, which comes in easily – STUB-TAILED SPADEBILL, and Steve gets a Giant Tinamou to add to his increasingly large list.
We head down to Mel’s home turf – the Osa Peninsula. He is the Top-Boy here so we expect to get everything.
Nightime owling is finally rewarded by STRIPED OWL and a Black and White for Mr Ridley. We have three nights booked at the Cabinas Puerto Jimenez, on a special Covid deal. It’s a nice place, fridges in the rooms and very good Wifi with views over the Golfo Dulce. Parrots roosting in the hundreds with the usual cacophony and the odd heron on the mudbanks. All a man could need unless you are tired and from Norfolk – in which case it’s more British biscuits.
DAY 9 – Rincon Bridge and beyond
I was here 6 months ago, so will be the spotter for Steve – he gets the Baird’s Trogon easily, but I see the first Yellow-Billed Cotinga. The local electrical team working the power lines with cherry-pickers, didn’t help, so we pulled out early to get to the Corcovado NP.
Mel has a good area of this park a short drive from Puerto Jimenez – it’s a little lodge called EcoTouristica le Tardes but it gets a fair bit of ant swarms and all the consequent funarids and other hangers on.
WHITE-THROATED SHRIKE-TANAGER shows early, a male in all its finery. Steve adds another 10 or more species, shooting up the Surfbirds World Rankings, which he has joined since hitting the 3K mark.
No need to owl tonight, we have all the local ones now.
DAY 10 “Viva la Revolucion” and Mega Night Birding
We’ve heard a rumour, from Mel’s mums friend , a truck driver. It seems there are some road blocks planned for across the country. It might be a Covid demo, or it might be something to do with increased taxation. No-one really knows and only one or two Facebook pages seem to be the source of information. There’s nothing in the news – radio or TV.
But Mel seems quite concerned. If they block the Rincon Bridge – there’s no other way out, except by boat – so we don’t want to get stuck on this peninsula.
We head off to his new spot and finally get a pair of PAINT-BILLED CRAKE, but then he gets a call from one of his myriad of birder friends. The revolution is kicking off. Several bridges have been blocked near Limon and San Jose – we make the call to head off the Osa immediately and get to somewhere that has options of escape routes should the highways become impassible.
So we cut the last night at Puerto Jimenez and try to get somewhere to stay nearer Cerro del Muerte, in the mountains.
Rooms are hard to find in the Savegre Valley – the big hotel I stayed in before is only open at weekends, so we find some simple cabanas , Cabanas Marianas. Mel arranges with “Eric the Owl” for a nights birding. This was booked for a few days later but he has been freed up as a meeting has now been cancelled due to the blocks.
My usual rule for owling – “only in the hotel grounds with a drink in one hand, a torch in the other” – is steeped in the history of never actually seeing owls when owling. Tonight’s target is the toughest in the Americas. It will only ever respond once at a site, never again, and if it does hoot back it’s a bugger to see.
We go to Billa Mills near La Georgina, back over the Cerro Muerte.
Site 1 draws a blank – and deep down I prepare myself for a cold dark night of nothingness.
We are about to pull out of Site 2 – when it calls back. Distant though.
Minutes later – it is closer. Then. Mel sees it – UNSPOTTED SAW-WHET OWL.
It posed for 10 minutes and had the sexiest eyes, but not in an ornithophilic way – it was a newbie too for Mel and my 3rd and last of the “mega-targets”.
Eric takes us to an area for DUSKY NIGHTJAR. We see it immediately.
On for Bare-shanked Screech-owl – we see that at the first attempt.
It all took less than 90 minutes door to door for these 3 birds.
“Lucky Steve” claims it as his victory – but he doesn’t know I have been wearing my lucky pants AND socks. But it’s all down to The Owlmeister. Eric.
DAYS 11 and 12 – Hotel Quelitales – Birder Paradise
We now have a nice problem. We had reserved the Paradaiso Quetzales hotel for a couple of nights, but with last night’s results now had a different time frame. No point staying there as the owl was bagged.
Mel had to call and cancel. We were the only people staying there. They were only opening for us. Kitchen open, rooms prepped. The owner is his friend. What do you do?
“Lie” we thought, but we told the truth and they were very pissed that we cancelled and had not paid any deposit. Mel has lost all favours there. We headed off to the only place available, Hotel Quelitales near Cartago, the old capital city. Jose who runs this place as well as owning it - is perhaps the nicest guy I have ever met in Central America.
A great cook, an amazing lodge and he came out that afternoon to help us get the Ground-Sparrow as he is a birder too.
No luck but at least the roads were open.
DAY 13 – “Triple Whammy”
There’s no nicer scream in the morning than that of a bird guide with a new sighting.
I was fortunately within auditory range – dressed in underpants but the shoes were on.
Steve was still naked on his balcony. We both arrived in a very odd state whilst running and dressing, to see TAWNY-THROATED LEAFTOSSER.
I have a history with this bird. The only one to miss it at Shiripuno Lodge, Ecuador despite half the group being non-birding eejits who had booked the wrong tour. There is no sadder experience than seeing Roy the plumber showing you his photo of a bird that you have missed, when golf and fishing are his most notable past-times.
This leaftosser has its name engraved on my heart since then - as Mary the First had with Calais.
But just as Calais is still sadly French, my ghost was now gone. Time to move on.
We go for the sparrow back at Jose’s secret coffee plantation spot.
As Mel is twisting on his scope head – Steve gets them – CABANIS’ GROUND SPARROW. Down aisle three of the coffee plants. Two sweet brown headed “not Prevost’s sparrows anymore”. We return to the Hacienda for Jose’s signature eggs and I finally get an ALDER FLYCATCHER perched right by the room. A good morning.
Breakfast at Hotel Quelitales
We pull out for the long drive toward the Caribbean coast for a rare tanager.
DAY 14 – “Veraguas Sadness”
Mel has sorted a motel in what he considers a “dangerous town”. Living in South London I assume that’s a stabbing every few minutes. Living in Norfolk, Steve assumes it’s all about stolen farm machinery. A drive-through to get me some supplies, i.e cerveza, reveals a town about as dangerous as Cirencester, but Mel still insists it is a terrifying hell-hole.
That is the theory of relativity.
We have the afternoon ahead of us.
We, well actually Mr Ridley, drove hours to get to Veraguas NP for a shot at the tanager. No luck.
We came out late from the NP and were then in direct confrontation with the road-blocking revolution.
He managed to steer through the burning tyres, and then hit the highway back. A clever route via a gas station car park saved us an hour. As we drove back to the hotel we passed Police Squads waiting for it to kick-off. Helmets, riot shields and dogs. What is going on?
And then we saw it, a group of protestors were holding up the Limon bound trucks by walking en masse down the highway.
The only problem were there only 12 of them. Now, I call that a complaint – not a protest. But enough to cause a 5 km tailback on the other lane.
It might be tricky tomorrow.
DAY 15 – “Dr Sulky”
Steve outperforms his best driver badge from Cerro del Muerte earlier in the trip by negotiating the road back to Veraguas. Zero headlights, 20 wheelers coming the other way and smoke from burning trucks to get through.
But we get to the NP for this tanager in record time. Eight hours were spent there. Up and down the trail, not a call and not a flock it might be in.
On the way out Mel thinks he sees one. Steve gets on to it. Mel has it, but I don’t.
The flock pulls out and I get a view of a Plain tanager, but not the Sulphur-rumped in the next tree. I never get onto it at all.
The Germans have a word for this – “Schadenflugelnichtsgesehen”
And how they laugh in their BirdyBierHalls at idiots like me for that level of ornithological incompetence.
Hah, my response to this huge dip is to quietly decide to not to talk to anyone for 48 hours. That always works.
DAY 16 to 17 – “Still Catatonic”
Via Hotel Quelitales and our arrival at the celebrated Rancho Naturalista, I have observed a silence – until Mr Ridley finds a giant pack of marshmallows in his Tardis-like bag. How much Tesco grub can one man carry?
“Infinite” say the purveyors of Samsonite luggage – proof being that he did once pull out a kilo of Cathedral City cheddar still in perfect condition at the end of a tour to Bhutan.
Rancho Naturalista is as good as always. Lisa – the hard working owner has arranged Mercedes, a pretty young bird guide – not the banged up old car - to work the trails for the quail-doves for us. None seen but Steve gets a manikin.
Dinner is perfect, Snowcaps on the vervain and a day at El Copal for tomorrow.
DAY 18- El Copal – a Bangsia free zone
This is the problem with being the first birders out after Covid. The trails are a bit rough – but at least the birds are un-taped and responsive.
We get a STREAKED-CROWNED ANTVIREO.
Then Steve hits the motherload – a Lanceolated Monklet – Mel has it in the scope, Mercedes goes mental, her most wanted bird ever. Mel gets the hugs and tears of joy. I have to remind her that “Lucky Steve” got it first. He gets a fist-bump.
Such is Covid. Wrong bubble mate. No sign of any Blue and Gold tanagers though. My only need here now. Anything blue and yellowish anyone? All the aged photos in termite bitten frames are of this tanager. Even the boot-pull thing is a metal Bangsia. Soon every bird seems to morph into a Blue and Gold Tanager.
And the last few hours of the day are spent with the repetition of:
“Could be the blue and gold” “No Jules, it’s a Euphonia”.
Repeat times 20. It never shows.
DAY 19 – The last full day
Tomorrow’s flight is not until late. So with strategic planning we could sweep up a few of the missed targets.
We had La Selva booked for tonight – a local forrester in place for first thing tomorrow as there’s a juvenile Slaty-backed Forest Falcon hidden deep in the trees – and an Olive-Backed Quail-Dove further into the forest. With luck and good timing we could even try the Brauillo Carillo ridge for yesterday’s dipped tanager and who knows? The Slaty-fronted Tinamou could become a bit more showy as Lucky Steve is on his tinamou roll.
During an early breakfast I quizzed the Rancho team about these raised taxes that are causing the road blocks. It turns out that as no-one pays any income tax in CR – the take has to be via VAT or IVA as it’s known there – but with the increased amount of online banking the Feds have found that they can tax all transactions including pay for government employees.
That included the Police.
Ah – that’s why none of these protests seem to be broken up. The cops are in alliance with the rebels.
We head off quickly to Mercedes’ cousins farm. He has a newbie staked out. It sadly isn’t by the easily placed river a few metres behind his house. Oh, no – it wouldn’t be that bloody easy would it?
Its other location is right on the top of a huge hill at the far end of his property. After one hour of scrambling hand over feet, fingers plunged into raw earth to get some vertical purchase – we got to the summit.
Steve was once again wearing one of his bird-repelling white shirts to go with his white hair – so I was getting to the point of giving him a spare sweaty black shirt when at the first time of playback it behaved and came into view – THICKET ANTPITTA.
A great start to the day and let this be the first of a good few targets in the next 36 hours.
But it wasn’t. By teatime we would be sitting in a Holiday Inn by the airport.
The protestors had raised the stakes. All roads towards La Selva were blocked. The main highway from SJ to Limon was blocked in 3 places – there was no guarantee that if we could get to La Selva that we could get back tomorrow for our flights.
An absolute bummer – we had survived the virus, sat through lockdown, missed 7 birding trips and just as we get out to a decent destination, it is screwed by these tax whingers.
C’mon Ticos – pay your dues to Caesar, I have to.
My final tally was 30 ticks. Steve has over 250.
Before we dropped Mel at a convenient location, he awarded Steve the accolade of “Driver of the Tour”.
I humbly took the “Drinker of the Tour”.
But I had my Lattice-tailed beauty.
Gracias to all involved.
Final note: Mr Ridley has the complete list of birds seen and it will be an addendum, but only after he has finished panic buying biscuits and cheese at a Morrisons near Thetford before the second Corona wave kills us all.
Stay safe fellow birders.