Wednesday, 30 November 2016

At Scotney this morning all the feral Geese still present, despite scrutinising the Greylags I could find nothing interesting among them. The Black-throated Diver was still on its chosen lake next to Lydd caravan park.
 Bewick Swans opposite Cockles Bridge just about to be moved on.
 Green Woodpecker at Christmas Dell
On the reserve, again no sign of the Ring-necked Duck or Cattle Egret, also I could not find the Long-eared Owl. A brief look at Burrowes staring into the sun saw nothing unusual, though I saw the 2 red head Smew later from Dennis's hide. At Christmas Dell a Chiffchaff, Green Woodpecker and a couple of Cetti's warblers, also a Fox inside the anti predator fencing made short work of getting out by jumping straight up onto a fence post and over, presumably it got in the same way.
 Fox inside the anti predator fence behind Christmas Dell.
 Bittern over Dengemarsh
At Dengemarsh Great White Egrets, another Chiffchaff, Bearded Tits, Cetti's Warblers, c300 Stock Doves, Marsh Harriers, Common Buzzards, Water Rails, 3 Egyptian Geese and more.
 Bearded Tits on the gritter from the ramp
The Kerton Road Grey Stonechat
At Kerton Road this afternoon, the Grey Stonechat was by the quarry with 2 normal Stonechats and 2+ Dartford Warblers.
Late afternoon 10 Great White Egrets and 18 Little Egrets came into the ARC roost, also 6 Bewick Swans roosted on the lake, a Merlin was attracted by the small Starling murmuration.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

A change scenery this morning by visiting The Patch first thing, though the visit cut short by the vibrations, noise and dust due to the arrival of the beach moving machinery.
07.45-08.15 at The Patch:

Red-throated Diver:         29 up channel
Gannet:                         c200 off shore
Cormorant:                   c500 off shore
Black-headed Gull :  c3,000 around
Mediterranean Gull:         3 on beach
Common Gull:            c300 around
Herring Gull:            c1,000 around
Caspian Gull:                    1 1w on beach
Lesser.B.B.Gull:            c20 around
Great.B.B.Gull:           c500 around

No sign of the Ring-necked Duck nor the Cattle Egret, the Long-eared Owl was still showing well at the Dipping Pool. On Burrowes 2 red head Smew and a Black-tailed Godwit along with usual wildfowl.
The Black-throated Diver was still on the lake immediately west of Lydd caravan park. Scotney held all the usual feral geese but I was unable to find anything interesting among them.
Galloways was open again today though I don't think the birds realised it, as yet another fruitless hour was spent seeing the odd Robin, Wren, Dunnock, Blackbird, Meadow Pipit and 2 Stonechats.

From the fishing boats with CP,CT and MH
                                Up Channel          Down Channel
Brent Goose:                   13                           2
Common Scoter:              4                            9
Red-throated Diver:         2                           13
Great Northern Diver:                                    3
Slavonian Grebe:                   1 on sea
Great Crested Grebe:           16 around
Gannet:                              c50 off shore
Kittiwake:                          c50 off shore
Guillemot:                             3 off shore
Razorbill:                              1 off shore
Auk sp:                         15                             6

Monday, 28 November 2016

Long-tailed Duck

 Velvet Scoter in this mornings terrible light at the fishing boats
From the fishing boats in bright sunshine and a biting 6-7 Easterly wind:
Up Channel unless stated otherwise:
Brent Goose:              2
Wigeon:                      7
Common Scoter:        2               12 down
Velvet Scoter:             1
Red-throated Diver:   33              1 down
Great-crested Grebe: 27 around
Gannet:                    234
Cormorant:              present n/c
Turnstone:                 4 on beach
Great Skua:               2
Black -headed Gull:  present n/c
Mediterranean Gull:  2
Common Gull:           present n/c
Herring Gull:             present n/c
Great B.B.Gull:         present n/c
Lesser B.B.Gull:       present n/c
Kittiwake:                 5
Guillemot:                8
Auk Sp:                    7
Grey Seal:                1 around
Great Skua past the the fishing boats this morning
I had walk out to the back of Scotney which is best described as bracing or stupid as very little was seen in the strong winds and bright sunshine. The partially oiled Black-throated Diver was still present on the pit to west of Lydd caravan park. At Boulderwall the Ring-necked Duck still present.
13.30- 15.00 from the fishing boats;
Up channel unless otherwise stated:
Long-tailed Duck:                1 Down
Common Scoter:       1         2 Down
Red-throated Diver:  1         1  Down
Gannet:                   17
Kittiwake:               15
Guillemot:               4
As very little was moving this afternoon and even the Gulls weren't interested in the bread, the temptation of a hot mug of tea and chocolate biscuits at home was too much for me.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Another tardy start this morning. On my way to the fishing boats quick stop at Cockles Bridge saw the 6 Bewick Swans in the field opposite.
Mediterranean Gull past the fishing boats
09.00-11.00 from the fishing boats:
All up unless stated otherwise:

Brent Goose:              4
Shoveler:                    4
Gadwall:                     5
Pintail:                        1
Common Scoter:      89
Velvet Scoter:            3
Eider:                         1
Red-throated Diver: 78
Great-crested Grebe: 46 around
Gannet:                    806
Cormorant:               present n/c
Turnstone:                 5 on beach
Great Skua:               2
Black -headed Gull:  present n/c
Mediterranean Gull: 53
Common Gull:           present n/c
Herring Gull:             present n/c
Great B.B.Gull:          present n/c
Lesser B.B.Gull:         present n/c
Kittiwake:                  117
Guillemot:                  63
Auk Sp:                     904

On the reserve all the usual suspects still present, Ring-necked Duck, Cattle Egret, (I must have missed it as it went into the roost last night) Long-eared Owl, Goosander, Great White Egrets, Bittern. The Black-throated Diver still on pit immediately west of Lydd caravan park.

14.15-15.00 from the fishing boats:

Brent:                        5
Red-throated Diver:  2
Gannet:                    78           22 down
Bar-tailed Godwit:    1
Mediterranean Gull: 7
Kittiwake:                 9
Guillemot:                4
Razorbill:                 2
Auk sp:                   15             4 down

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Forster's Tern!

No sea watch this morning after a late night. When I eventually got out I went straight to Boulderwall where the Ring-necked Duck was still present on Cook's Pool, unfortunately it was about as far away from the track as it could be. The Long-eared Owl was showing well at the Dipping Pool. On Burrowes Great White Egret, Red-breasted Merganser, Goosander, Avocet, 6 Grey Plovers and the usual wildfowl. I joined OL in wander up to Denge Marsh on the way 3 Chiffchaffs in the sallows were the highlight. At Denge Marsh another Great White Egret, 3 Stonechats, c300 Stock Doves, in the Sunflower field with the Linnets. Then a text from Brian H FORSTER'S TERN Princes's Parade.
We couldn't have been much further from our cars.
Long-eared Owl at the back of the Dipping Pool this morning
After a fraught drive to Hythe encountering tractor, ambulances and generally annoying traffic I arrived with Gill H to find the Tern showing well.
Forster's Tern Princes's Parade an excellent find by by Ian Roberts.

This afternoon after a tip off from Jake I saw the Black-throated Diver on the pit next to Lydd Caravan Park.
3 of the 6 Bewick's 
ON the ARC from Hanson 6 Bewick Swans and another Great White Egret.
Early evening 12 Great White Egrets and 21 Little Egrets roosted on the ARC. 2 Goosander were on the New Diggings.
Hopefully in the next couple of days the Forster's Tern will turn at Dungeness. I think I will visit The Patch first thing tomorrow!

Friday, 25 November 2016

07.50-08.50 from the fishing boats with OL, fairly quiet in a cold NE 6-7
All up channel unless stated otherwise:

Brent Goose:           22
Shelduck:                  6
Wigeon:                  21
Common Scoter:    31
R.B.Merganser:       2
G.C.Grebe:            17 around
Fulmar:                    2
Gannet:                  54
Cormorant:         c350 around
B.H Gull:            present n/c
Mediterranean Gull:3
Common Gull:     present n/c
L.B.B.Gull:           present n/c
G.B.B.Gull:          present n/c
Kittiwake:             27
Guillemot:              4 around
Auk: sp:                46 down channel
Stock Dove:          18 in
Starling:                40 in
Linnet:                   17 over
Goldfinch:             10 over
A quick stop at Boulderwall saw the Ring-necked Duck still on Cooks Pool, the Cattle Egret in the distance with the cattle, 2 Great White Egrets in the ditches and the usual wildfowl.
 Bewick Swans on Denge Marsh
A walk around the hay fields saw a few Reed Buntings, Chaffinches and Linnets feeding in  the Sunflower field. On Denge Marsh 2 Bewick Swans (4 more on the ARC per M Hook) and the usual wildfowl. The Sunflower field at the back held 300+ Stock Doves, c100 Linnets, many Starlings and a few Meadow Pipits and Skylarks, all attracting the attention of a Common Buzzard, Kestrel and a couple of Marsh Harriers.
As the ranges were open again I drove to Jury's Gap, clambered over the sea wall and rocks and walked the sea wall. Considering the habitat there were very few birds there, just 24 Wigeon, 2 Shelduck, 2 Mallard, 2 Mute Swans and 7 Redshank were the combined total for the 3 sets of pools.
The rough ground had 2 Marsh Harriers and a Common Buzzard all of which soon drifted off towards Scotney. In the sueda 2 Reed Buntings, a Wren and Common Stonechat. 
Scotney had all the usual feral Geese and wild Duck and little else.
Another hour on the beach this afternoon saw nothing of note in the still strong NE wind, I tried tempting the Gulls with loaves of bread to no avail.
 Pheasant in the middle of Burrowes
Back on the reserve from on Burrowes a Drake Goosander, also a drake Red-breasted Merganser which is more unusual, 3+ Goldeneye and the usual dabblers. The Gull roost attracted an adult and a 1w Caspian Gull though most were flushed at dusk when a Pheasant flew across from Firth landing on one of the islands, it was still there as dark fell. The Long-eared Owl was still behind the Dipping Pool today.  

Thursday, 24 November 2016

I stopped at Cockles Bridge on my way to the beach where I could only find 1 Bewick Swan in the field opposite.
In blasting 6-8 NE wind 08.30-09.30 from the fishing boats with CT & BH:

Brent Goose:                      44                       11down
Shoveler:                              3
Pintail:                                  1
Wigeon:                              39
Tufted Duck:                        1
Common Scoter:                  8                         6 down
Red-breasted Merganser:     3
Red-throated Diver:             1                         8 down
Great-crested Grebe:         96 around
Gannet:                            155                        17 down
Cormorant:                         present n/c         800+ on Burrowes
Oystercatcher:                     2
Turnstone:                           3 around
Dunlin:                              19
Black-headed Gull:            present n/c
Mediterranean Gull:            3
Common Gull:                      present n/c
Herring Gull:                         present n/c
Lesser Black Backed Gull:   present n/c
Greater Black Backed Gull: present n/c
Guillemot:                              5
Auk Sp:                                15                         76 down
Pied Wagtail:                         3 around
Starling:                               10 out
Goldfinch:                            18 over
Linnet:                                    3 over
 On the reserve the Ring-necked Duck was  still showing well on Cooks Pool, out in the fields the Cattle Egret, a Great White Egret and several Little Egrets, also c500 Wigeon, c300 Lapwing, 50+ Golden Plover, 200+ Stock Doves, 2+ Marsh Harriers, a Common Buzzard along with 100s of Starlings, Coot and Teal.
I walked the promenade from Littlestone to St Mary's Bay and back but was unable to find  the Snow Bunting flock, plenty of Oystercatchers and Turnstones on the shore line though.
Curlew in a flooded part of Galloways
In a wind blasted Denge Marsh Gully a Robin, Wren and Magpie the only birds. 2 Ravens around the power station.
As the ranges were open I drove to the bottom of Galloways then walked west towards The Midrips and back. Apart from being an exhilarating plod along the beach the Snow Buntings, Lapland Buntings and Shorelarks I felt sure would be lurking in this undisturbed area did not materialise, but were replaced by 4 Reed Buntings and several Meadow Pipits.
A Ring-billed Gull was reported from Burrowes mid afternoon, I joined CT and BH looking for it with out luck finding just 2 adult Yellow-legged Gulls.
A drake Goosander was  at the south end of the ARC per CT & BH.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Winter Gloom

Another thoroughly Gloomy winters day so much so that I couldn't even be bothered to point the camera at the Ring-necked Duck.
O7.45-08.45 from the fishing boats joined by OL
All down channel unless stated otherwise:

Teal:                                  18
Common Scoter:               16
Red-throated Diver:            8
Great northern Diver:          1 up
Great-crested Grebe:          14 around
Turnstone:                           27 around
Dunlin:                               46
Black-headed Gull:             present n/c
Mediterranean Gull:           3
Common Gull:                    present n/c
Herring Gull:                      present n/c
Lesser Black Backed Gull: present n/c
Great Black Backed Gull:  present n/c
Guillemot:                           9
Auk Sp:                               4
Meadow Pipit:                 128 over
Starling:                           500 in
Goldfinch:                          20 over
Linnet:                                20 on beach
Driving back from the beach across the causeway a pair of Goosander flew over settling on the ARC.
Most of the rest of the day was taken up with domestic stuff, though I did manage to catch up with the Ring-necked Duck, Cattle Egret, Great White Egret and Little Egrets at Cooks Pool, also the Long-eared Owl was still behind the Dipping Pool. The 4 Bewick Swans had relocated back to the field between the airport and Cockles Bridge Dungeness Road. I was going to count the Egret roost today but by 15.30 it was  already dark.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

07.45-09.45 from the fishing boats joined by OL.
All down channel unless stated otherwise:

Common Scoter:                298
Velvet Scoter:                        2
Red-breasted Merganser:      1
Red-throated Diver:              6
Great-crested Grebe:           17
Fulmar:                                  3
Gannet:                              317
Cormorant:                       c500 around
Oystercatcher:                        2 up
Pomarine Skua:                      1
Black-headed Gull:             Present n/c
Mediterranean Gull:             10
Common Gull:                    Present n/c
Herring Gull:                       Present n/c
Lesser Black Backed Gull  Present n/c
Great Black Backed Gull:   Present n/c
Kittiwake:                            27
Guillemot:                             2
Auk Sp:                                 4
Starling:                          1,050 in
Another 90 minute watch 12.30-14.00 was very slow, so slow I fell asleep. 
My daily Ring-necked Duck pic.
The 4 Bewick Swans are still showing distantly with the Mute Swans in Denge Marsh Road, opposite the go cart track.
2 visits to the reserve saw the Ring-necked Duck with the Cattle Egret nearby, the Long-eared Owl still behind the Dipping Pool. On Burrowes the usual Great White Egrets, 4 Goldeneye, a drake Goosander, 4 Yellow-legged Gulls and 1w Caspian Gull. 

Monday, 21 November 2016

1 of 4 Sooty Shearwaters past today
07.45-09.45 from the fishing boats joined by OL.
All down channel unless otherwise stated:

Shelduck:  3
Common Scoter: 3
Red-throated Diver: 8
Great-crested Grebe: 27 around
Fulmar: 2
Sooty Shearwater: 3
Gannet:  236
Cormorant:  c300 around
Oystercatcher: 1
Turnstone: 2 around
Black-headed Gull: present n/c  c3,500 at The Patch per OL
Mediterranean Gull: 8
Common Gull: c30
Herring Gull: c500 around
Yellow-legged Gull: 1 around
Lesser Black Backed Gull:  10+ around
Great Black Backed Gull:  150+ around
Kittiwake: 31
Pied Wagtail: 2 around

Ring-necked Duck on Cook's Pool in the pouring rain
A soggy visit to the reserve where the Ring-necked Duck was  showing well in the rain, at the back of the pool an Egret trio of Great White, Cattle and Little Egret. On Burrowes an adult Caspian Gull, 2 adult Yellow-legged Gulls, 2 Goosander including a superb drake, the Long-eared Owl was still showing behind the Dipping Pool despite the rain.
Mediterranean Gull gleaming in the afternoon sunshine
All down channel unless otherwise stated
13.10-15.00 from the fishing boats with OL

Red-throated Diver: 4        1 up
Sooty Shearwater: 1
Gannet: c250
Great Skua: 2
Arctic Skua: 1
Pomarine Skua: 2
Mediterranean Gull: 56
Kittiwake: 960

1 of 1,000+ Kittiwakes past today

Sunday, 20 November 2016

08.00-10.30 from the fishing boats: joined by OL & SO

                               Up Channel           Down Channel
Wigeon:                                                        6
Common Scoter:                                       383 
Velvet Scoter:                                               2
Great-crested Grebe:                                  16
Gannet:                              3                       78
Cormorant :                                               878
Grey Plover:                                                  1
Sanderling:                                                    1
Turnstone:                                                     3
Great Skua:                                                   2
Black-headed Gull:           n/c
Common Gull:                  n/c
Herring Gull:                     n/c
Caspian Gull:                                               1  1w
Lesser Black Backed Gull: n/c
Great Black backed Gull:   n/c
Kittiwake:                                                   14
Guillemot:                                                     1
Pied Wagtail:                       3 around
A quick look at Boulderwall saw the Ring-necked Duck, Cattle Egret and a Great White Egret. The Long-eared  Owl was apparently still on its chosen perch. 4 Bewick Swans were in the field between the airport and Cockles Bridge with some Mute Swans.
 Great Northern Divers this afternoon

13.30-15.00 from the fishing boats:
                                                          Down Channel
Red-throated Diver:                                     2
Great Northern Diver:                                  3
Great-crested Grebe:                                  27
Gannet:                                                       24
Black-headed Gull:                                   174
Common Gull:                                            16
Herring Gull:                       c300 around
Lesser Black Backed Gull:  8+ around
Great Black Backed Gull:  c150 around
Kittiwake:                                                   56
Late afternoon at the airport Harrier roost 6 Marsh Harriers roosted, a Sparrowhawk flew over as did a Great White Egret.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Another Day at Dungeness!

07.55-08.55 from the fishing boats:
                                              Up Channel                Down Channel
Red-breasted Merganser:                                                  1
Red-throated Diver:                                                         11
Great Northern Diver:                                                       1
Great-crested Grebe:                            24 around   
Gannet:                                  37          62 feeding         138  
Cormorant:                                          Present n/c
Oystercatcher:                         2
Turnstone:                               2
Great Skua:                                                                       1
Black-headed Gull:                        Many Present
Mediterranean Gull:                             4 around
Herring Gull:                                  Many Present
Great Black Backed Gull:              Many Present
Lesser Black Backed Gull:             Few Present
Kittiwake:                                                                       27
Auk Sp:                                                                            2
Stonechat:                                            2 by boats
Common Stonechat & Dartford Warbler(at least 2 present) Kerton Road triangle
The Grey Stonechat Kerton Road Triangle
This afternoon on the reserve Ring-necked Duck,Great White Egrets, Cattle Egret, Little Egrets, Marsh Harriers, Caspian and Yellow-legged Gulls, more North Thames colour ringed Herring Gulls, 3 Black-tailed Godwits, Redshank, 2 Kingfishers and Long-eared Owl all seen despite the at times torrential rain.
As I arrived home late afternoon 2 Bewick Swans flew over my house towards the lakes presumably to roost.

Friday, 18 November 2016

First thing this morning at Boulderwall the Ring-necked Duck, also Cattle, Great White and Little Egret and 2 Marsh Harriers.
At the Dipping Pool the Long-eared Owl still on its chosen perch. A quick look from Firth revealed very few Gulls so down to the fishing boats and come back later.
Fairly quiet at the fishing boats a scan of the horizon saw 87 Gannets slowly moving down channel. 3 Mediterranean Gulls and c20 Kittiwakes were offshore, a single Brent goose flew into Lade bay, a single Turnstone on the beach and 17 Great-crested Grebes were off shore.
Great White Egret from Firth
Back at Firth I located 4 Caspian Gulls (Ad,1w,2w,3w) also and adult and a 3w Yellow-legged Gull.
A kingfisher was back and forth in front the hide  and a Great White egret dropped in.
An afternoon visit to Firth and DW had located another Caspian Gull sporting a green ring 76P0. 
Green ringed Caspian Gull 76PO taken in awful light conditions
A second adult Caspian Gull

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Gulls in the Rain & Gales!

Ring-necked Duck early this morning
First thing this morning I went to the reserve where the Ring-necked duck was showing well on Cooks Pool also there a Great White Egret, a Little Egret, a Bittern the Cattle Egret flew over the field disappearing in a ditch, also a Marsh Harrier quartering the top end of the reed bed and a Common Buzzard motionless on a post.
Long-eared Owl behind the Dipping Pool this morning
As I walked to Firth after viewing the Long-eared Owl all the Gulls flushed probably by a Heron or Great White Egret and disappeared towards the Open Pits, so I decided to go to the fishing boats and come back to the reserve later.
09.00-09.30 from the fishing boats lots of birds but nothing moving:
                                     Up Channel                 Down Channel
Red-throated Diver:                                                    2
Great-crested Grebe:                          16 o/s      
Gannet:                                              c120 o/s
Cormorant:                                       Present n/c
Common Scoter:                3
Turnstone:                                        4 on beach
Black-headed Gull:                          Present n/c
Mediterranean Gull:           2
Herring Gull:                                   Present n/c
Lesser Black Backed Gull:              Present n/c
Great Black Backed Gull:                Present n/c
Kittiwake:                                          c150 o/s
Razorbill:                                                                      1
Goldfinch:                                           8 over
Grey Seal:     2
After my usual late breakfast I went back to the reserve, where in the rain and wind made my way to the shelter of Firth Hide with PB. Within a few minutes we located 3 Caspian Gulls and several colour ringed Gulls which were duly read and noted, DW arrived and spotted another Caspian Gull. Also there an adult Yellow-legged Gull and 2 Goldeneye. 2 more Caspian Gulls dropped after I left to look at the sea again.
Adult + 3w Caspian Gull
Adult Caspian Gull
3w Caspian Gull
2w Caspian Gull
1w Caspian Gull
Adult Yellow-legged Gull
Grey Heron in front of Firth
Late afternoon the sea was very Quiet apart from the c150 Kittiwakes and usual Gulls.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

A Quieter Day

An uninspiring sea watch this morning:
08.00-09.00 from the fishing boats with NF, DW & BC.
                                 Up Channel       Down Channel
Brent Goose:                 5
Shelduck:                                                       1
Common Scoter:                                          10
Red-throated Diver:                   2 on             4
Great-crested Grebe:               15 Around
Gannet:                                  c30 Around
Turnstone:                                4 on beach
Mediterranean Gull:    2
Kittiwake:                    5
Guillemot:                                3 around
Razorbill:                     2           1 around
Goldfinch:                                2 over

Ring-necked Duck
At Boulderwall the Ring-necked Duck was still present on Cook's Pool also a Great white Egret there, the Cattle Egret was still in the fields with Cattle. With the number of cars in the car park I opted to go some where quieter. At Scotney all the usual feral Geese and wildfowl but nothing out of the ordinary. Denge Marsh Gully was unsurprisingly very quiet. 
The Grey Stonechat
Early afternoon at the Kerton Road triangle the pale Stonechat was  still insitu along with 3 Dartford Warblers and 2 Common Stonechats.
14.10-15.00 from the fishing boats was very slow, though a Great Northern Diver flew down channel and 5 Red-throated divers flew up channel, while on the c a flock of c150 Kittiwakes.
Little Egrets from Firth at sunset
Late afternoon from Firth Hide an adult Caspian Gull and 2 adult Yellow-legged Gulls, the 3 Black-tailed Godwits still present and a Redshank.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016


 Ring-necked Duck in the early morning gloom
Still without a car this morning MH kindly picked me up. Our first stop was at Cooks Pool Boulderwall where the Ring-necked Duck was  showing nicely despite the gloomy weather. Further along the track the Cattle Egret was in its chosen field.
From the viewing ramp 5+ Bearded Tits were using the gritter, Denge Marsh was very quiet this morning, though 2 Common Snipe, a Common Buzzard and a Marsh harrier were noted.
Cattle Egret
 Bearded Tits on the gritter from the viewing ramp
From Dennis's Hide 2 Great White Egrets and a Goldeneye among the the usual wildfowl. Among the Gulls was an adult Yellow-legged Gull.
Walking up to Firth we stopped at the dipping pool where as usual I scanned the Sallows and there was the Long-eared Owl hopefully back for the rest of the winter. From Firth the 3 Black-tailed Godwits still but nothing unusual among the many Gulls.

Dotterel on the beach in the late afternoon gloom
Late this afternoon Owen Leyshon called to tell me had found a Dotterel on the shingle opposite Jarmans, the only problem I was car less, a quick call to Mark H who kindly came and picked me up, taking me to see the Dotterel of which we enjoyed great views in the late afternoon gloom. Soon after the garage called to say my car was ready. I was only without a car for 4 days but it felt as though my legs had been chopped off. I take my hat off to people who voluntarily give up the cars.