Every cloud, they say, has a silver lining. So an ill-advised trip up to Oare Marshes in search of a (the?) glossy ibis was not all in vain, when I noticed that a restharrow plant on the causeway had spines. Not at all interesting to most, but I've got into the habit of checking out restharrows for prickliness, in the hope of finding the rather less common spiny restharrow.
So there we are....a life tick. Not quite as impressive as a glossy ibis, but that's my history of twitching for you. I never have time to spend the required amount of time, so invariably leave disappointed, while the sought-after bird lurks somewhere nearby. Even more irritating, when the bloody thing appears after I've gone 'showing well'.
Was it. Really. Great.
There were plenty of birds around, including three ruff...
...and I was pleased to meet Bo, the Fat Birder, at last. Especially when he pointed out a merlin 'showing well' in a nearby bush.
On the way back to DIY-land, I detoured to watch the harvesting of the hops, now in full swing. No stilts these days, of course. I'd like to think that the hops are taken a couple of miles down the road to the Shepherd Neame brewery.
And most of the oast houses (which were used for drying the hops) have now been converted into des res housing.