This time however, the target was Lapland buntings and I was keen to bag some shots of a little bird I'd never seen before, but most photographers across the country had already snapped, annoyingly. Early start and after spotting Dave Jackson's car in the carpark, I knew I might have some help in finding the bird. But first came the hike up there. Camera and tripod over one shoulder, I took it slowly and even then, had to "take in the view" a couple of times from benches on the way up.
Also, after texting Dave, the news came through that he'd not seen the birds yet, the original small flock reduced down to just one individual now. Not another blank on the Malverns...?
Well, no. Just as I stumbled to the top of North Hill, Dave sent a message through - he'd found it. Now I just needed to find them, and luckily, they were just over the brow of the hill. And I arrived in time to have just missed it! A hiker had spooked it.
A quick search around and the bird flew back into view, higher up the hillside. I took some record shots in case, and then set about crawling as slowly as I dared, closer.