Yesterday a Bittern was seen on the estuary at lunch time, when a small group in the Tower Hide were treated to some nice flight views. I found out just on dusk, and joined Steve at the Farm Gate for an evening vigil. No sign of course, but then we may well have been too late anyway, the bird either having gone to roost earlier or flown far, far away.
However, with my recent penchant for turning slim-to-negligible chances into stunning goals, I headed out to the Tower Hide at the crack of dawn today. Sadly, no Bitterns. Never mind though, because a couple of year ticks were still bagged - Cetti's Warbler and Water Rail.
That's 92 then.
And that was it for today...or so I thought.
16:35 - Phil calls.
"Gav, small grebe off Seaton Hole. Thought it was your Slav coming round from Branscombe at first, but as it's getting nearer it's looking more and more like a Black-necked..."
Black-necked Grebe would not simply be a year tick for me, but a full-blown patch tick too!
"Thanks Phil," I replied, and sat back down to finish the rest of my afternoon tea and crumpets. I knocked out and scrupulously cleaned my pipe, removed my slippers and collected my bird-spotting equipment. Then it was a simple matter of checking the oil, coolant and tyre pressures on the Volvo 240, carefully positioning the trilby upon my head, and crawling sedately to Seaton Hole...
Eye-witness accounts of my arrival being preceded by the squeal of tortured rubber, or my rushing from the car in a blur of wide-flung doors and undone laces are simply lies.
Sure enough, a Black-necked Grebe, and what a fine sight it was on the flat-calm sea.........93.