I've had a rather splendid couple of days. And they don't involve twitching Shetland or the Sahara Desert. Three ticks? This is unprecedented (ish). First off, as I settled in my comfortable armchair yesterday, the happy the news that the oh-so-American Hooded Merganser from Whetsted Gravel Pits last year had been accepted onto the official British list, whatever that is. I guess that this was approximately a year ago, and as I had a free morning I decided that I'd go and have a look for insurance purposes. What a good move that turned out to be!
Then to this morning where shock horror I was out on Wanstead Flats. Dan Dan the Wader Man* had had seven Curlew over Bush Wood. The same Bush Wood that is practically next door to my house - Gah! Lying in bed I failed to see them. A further text proclaiming a flock of Lapwing actually over my house roused me from my slumbers, and so I joined Dan out on the Flats. Bingo. A further two Curlew over, as well as another 80 Lapwing. I've only been waiting eight years...... So, my second tick in two days.
Futher happy news came from Rainham, with three Black-necked Grebes on Aveley Pools. Grebes don't tend to fly in the day, so I felt I was probably quids in, and so it proved. I've seen a lot of birds at Rainham, but BN Grebe is a tricky one in that location, and I've always been otherwise engaged when one has turned up. All three showed distantly from the viewing platforms, with one still in winter plumage and the other two almost there. Another tick. I bother with the camera, I've been spoiled by the birds in Morocco, and anything further than about ten feet away now counts as distant. Although I lugged it round with me all day, I fired off only ten frames - admirable. Here's one of them, a local Grey Heron from Wanstead Park whilst I was searching for the Water Rail (which I also got).
So, with the obligatory photo out of the way, the question now is what tomorrow will bring? Can I get another tick of some description somewhere? We shall see. The weather looks moderately crappy, so it could be quite good.
In other news, I spent some quality time this morning going through my wardrobe. Primarily this was to get rid of shredded teeshirts from circa 1997, but also to acknowledge, with regret, that my days of a 34 waist are over. As I've aged, my waistline has more or less kept pace with my years. I've got a couple of inches in hand still - I'm 38 quite soon - but I had quite a few pairs of non-elasticated trousers from the 33-35 era, and those days are firmly in the past. Which is a shame, as there were some pristine items in there that had seen little use, perhaps bought in a moment of sale-induced optimism. Some thin people will no doubt be very grateful, and in the meantime I have a much tidier set of shelves. Whilst sorting through them, I've also realised that I have a bit of an underwear problem. Crisis, some might say. I'd been wondering if there was a problem for a few months, but had been sticking my head in the sand, hoping perhaps that new pants without holes in them might magically appear whilst I was out. They haven't, and so I am going to have to go shopping as it is all a bit breezy of late.
I hate shopping. Well, shopping for clothes at any rate. Optics, and I'm there, but clothes, especially the highly dull kind like socks and pants, is really not my thing at all. But it has to be done, and so come Monday I am going to man up and go to John Lewis. Or maybe M&S. Tescos? Do Tescos sell underwear? I have no idea, but as I'm some way from being a fashion icon, depite, ahem, being highly David Beckham-esque in the "pouch" department, I don't suppose it really matters. They have to be blue though, as 95% of my other clothes are blue and it makes for convenient washing. I may have been back at work for nearly 18 months, but you can't surpress my inner Domestic Goddess.
* also the Goldeneye Man, but that doesn't syncopate so well.