In my Dipper excitement, I forgot to mention that I saw a Shrike yesterday. Unbelievable. Not the Shrike, that was perfectly real and about two thousand yards away as Shrikes often are, but unbelievable that I didn't even say a single word about it. Views were somewhat wanting, but it was still a Shrike - a Great Grey Shrike in fact. Lovely, but would have been much lovlier about one thousand, nine hundred and ninety-five yards closer. Having said that, it was a feat to even see it at all, as the area, Therfield Heath in Hertfordshire, is immense. Nice to get it on the yearlist I'm not keeping, which has yet to reach 100 so I'm actually telling the truth. I'm on 99 - a Rock Pipit this afternoon - my conscience could hardly be cleaner.
As you probably know, I spent the entire evening yesterday deleting Dipper shots, and then woke up today and did it all over again. First stop today was Dartford again where I had another pop at the long-staying Slavonian Grebe in the company of Kev J, Mick S and Richard S. I may not have seen many birds this year, but I've seen some exceptionally well - really they should count for more points. Then we went to Ramsgate to try for a Great Norther Diver known to be frequenting the harbour. It was, but wasn't really what we had in mind. I mean yes, it was a Diver and all that, but what we really wanted to do was pap it to death, and we didn't get that chance and so it's still there, alive and well, and still in the inner harbour. Not sure it was too well, but it was catching food when we left, so perhaps it was just a bit sleepy this morning?
Any guesses as to how much time I spent on the patch this weekend? I'll give you a clue. It's a nice round number and I didn't have any trouble with dogs.