A plan to visit Thanet (which seemed to be the centre of birding interest this week) sounded fine in the pub last night, but the reality of trying to find elusive little brown birds in the murk and drizzle of a cabbage patch was starkly different.
There was a reasonable amount of birdlife around - Stonechats, Wrens and Meadow Pipits all perched on the tops of cabbages and three Chiffchaffs were seen, but the target Dartford Warblers were not showing.
Further along the coast, a single Snow Bunting was on the path above Botany Bay (in precisely the same place that I saw my first one, a few years ago) and a female Black Redstart was below on the beach.
The tide came in on cue, with the usual cast of waders including an impressive 47 Purple Sandpipers.
41 of the Purps were on one lump of concrete below the waterworks, sharing it with a Shag which we didn't notice until it flew. Yes, I know Shags are bigger than sandpipers, but it was camouflaged.
Fulmars are back after their Autumn trip out to sea, and are occupying likely nest sites on the cliffs.
My eye was caught by a line of flints on one of the low cliffs - not the pebbly type, but sharp chunks. A skulking bird that disappeared into a bush could have been a Dartford Warbler. Perhaps.