Oh this hobby, I don't know what to say. Let me start by saying that I dipped. Well, we dipped, as I convinced Tony to come too. Sorry Tony. The weather was vile, we wouldn't have seen anything at home, and to be fair we did see quite a lot from the hide in the four or five hours we were there. Just not a Solitary Sandpiper. The previous day it had been parading around like a superstar, but of course that was Friday. We were at work and naturally the dreaded bunk happened.
I've dipped Solitary Sandpiper before, on Scilly. I can't remember the exact circumstances but Bradders, Nick and I were definitely going to Scilly for one as well as a pretty fabulous supporting cast. On the boat over birders already there found a Black-and-White Warbler at Lower Moors and I can still remember Baggers, or I think it was Baggers, jumping up from the deck and shouting the news. Maybe I'm wrong.
Baggers was in the hide at Stodmarsh on Saturday, chatting away. He knows everyone and everyone knows him. Book reviews seemed to feature quite heavily for some reason, with many people (of a very similar demographic you would have to say) sympathetic to what I assume was the first edition. I've not read it, can't say I intend to, and thus had little to say about it then or now. The oft used phrase that 'everyone has a book in them' should perhaps be taken with a pinch of salt however... Despite his literary setbacks he's quite cheery and I find it hard to believe anyone could find him offensive in person. The only reason I mention his presence is that there seems to be a very strong correlation between him being around and me dipping Solitary Sandpiper - I certainly won't be twitching one in Sussex!
What a bummer. I've not dipped for ages and it reminds me what most dislike about twitching. Not reminds me, it is what I most dislike about twitching. Well, that and hides full of middle aged men. Men like me, except they seem to have read more books. In the time I was there a Green Sandpiper flew in three times. The hide exploded into life each time, it was fantastic to be a part of I have to say.
Nevermind, I'll no doubt get another chance in another 12 years. I'll be 60. At least it was only about an hour and a half away. Imagine driving to Cornwall and dipping.