Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Not Really a Llama...

My good friend Lyndon Marquis (a.k.a. Boris to his mates) fell off a mountain three weeks ago. I can jokingly tut-tut and shake my head at his exploits now I know for sure he’s going to be okay, but I’m not alone in worrying about him ever since it happened. I’ve been wanting to write a blog post about his accident - and the Keswick Mountain Rescue Team who saved his life - ever since it happened; but I wanted to visit him in hospital myself first. I finally did see him a couple of days ago, and thankfully he’s well on the way to a full recovery.

On Monday 10th November, Boris was on a solo scrambling trip on Cam Crag Ridge in Cumbria when he lost his footing. He fell a total of 30 feet, smashing his leg (I mean smashing his leg), fracturing ribs, vertebrae and a collar bone, and damaging shoulder ligaments, and more besides. He then had to endure 7.5 hours of pain, low temperatures, and the inevitable thoughts of rescuers not getting to him soon enough... But they did: the amazing Keswick Mountain Rescue Team reached him around 21:30 and he was airlifted to Newcastle. Thank chuff for that! The rescue was reported by Grough magazine.

Boris’s survival is due to his own planning (he told his family his route and when he would be back) and his safety-conscious nature (he was fully equipped and experienced for a day out alone in the mountains), and of course we all owe a debt to Keswick Mountain Rescue Team for getting him back safely, and for that I’d like to say a big thank you.

Another of Boris’s friends has set up a Just Giving page for donations - here - by way of saying thanks and helping them continue their work. Donations will be accepted for a few weeks yet - please consider donating if you can.

I though of Boris when I was watching the Purple Heron recently on Anglesey. We'd talked in the past about this species being high on our list of must-sees, and here I was watching my first in Britain (they're scare vagrants here) while he lay in a hospital bed.

Boris and I have been on lots of birding trips in the past, which generally involved visiting interesting wildlife-rich habitats interspersed with bouts of driving to a (very loud) soundtrack of Shellac, Fagazi, Godflesh and Sabbath. I’ve written a couple of brief reports of our trips on this blog: Skipwith Common 2011 and Flamborough and Spurn 2011. In fact, we’ve seen loads of great birds together, including many of my favourite birds for the first time: Black Tern, Whiskered Tern, Red-backed Shrike, Southern Grey Shrike, Golden Pheasant, Shore Lark, Temminck’s Stint, Cattle Egret, Stone Curlew, Golden Oriole, Nightjar, and so on. Hopefully we’ll soon be able to add to this list.

Boris writes a great blog called Not Really a Llama on climbing, walking and the outdoors, which I’m sure will soon have a fascinating post or three about his, erm, adventure.

Get well soon fella.

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