Lade - mild, cloudy, damp, ssw 2 - Another dreary day of weekend weather across the local patch with not much change from earlier in the week. As it was high tide I spent a fair amount of time (more out of desperation!) scanning through a large gull flock on north lake comprising around 2,000 birds, mostly Black-headed and Herring Gulls with a lesser mix of Common and Black-backs. Amongst the throng were at least 10 Mediterranean and one adult Caspian Gull. Duck, Coot and grebe numbers were lower than usual on both waters.
Passerines included several Stonechats and Blackbirds, Chiffchaff and Cetti`s Warbler, 10 Mipits, plus Grey Wagtail and Redwing overhead. On the beach a flock of 12 Grey Plovers was noteworthy.
The biggest surprise came when we returned home to find a cock Pheasant underneath the bird table that shot off out of the garden like a rocket as we hove into view, leaving a scattering of feathers as it crashed through the fir trees! Needless to say it was a garden tick, if only I kept such a list...
Folkestone Book Festival - Today was the final day of the festival of which we`ve attended three events at the Quarterhouse in Folkestone. However, Saturday`s sell-out talk by Richard Dawkins was held in the Saga Pavilion where one of the great thinkers of our time was promoting his new book: Outgrowing God - A Beginners Guide. Looking a bit frail after his recent stroke it was good see and hear that his mind was as sharp as ever as he answered a range of question from the audience.