Dungeness - 0915-10130hrs - cold, dank, sw 2 - We joined MH and PB at the boats for a lively high tide seawatch during which time we discussed the weekends football (less said the better if you follow QPR), politics, fish stocks and the forthcoming shingle movement (starts next Monday). Hundreds of Cormorants were moving between the bays along with good numbers of Red-throated Divers, Great Crested Grebes and auks (mostly Guillemots, but also one or two Razorbills) on the sea, plus a steady flow of Gannets and Kittiwakes, some of which passed close to shore. Several small groups of Brents headed east (leaving already?) and four Mergansers went down-Channel. However, most surprising was a brace of skuas, with a cracking close Bonxie and a more distant Pomarine Skua.
The day then went rapidly downhill as I arrived home when Mrs PT announced that we needed to visit Chavford for essentials that we couldn't order online. She`d caught me with my guard down, but I quickly rallied.
"What about my bad back, it just won`t take the 40 mile round trip", I pleaded.
"Doesn't play up when you`re out birding and looking for that little bastard", she retorted.
"Actually, its a Little Bustard", I smugly replied, "and anyhow what about Barney, he was limping when we were out this morning and needs looking after".
And so the excuses and counter excuses continued like a game of ping pong until I crumbled and sulkily agreed to go. The only bonus was a Grey Wagtail along the Stour and a Great White Egret on the canal at Hamstreet on the way home. Happy days...