I like the Isle of Thanet - its lovely sandy beaches, the quaint town of Broadstairs, its romantic cabbage fields (scraping the bottom of the barrel already) and its position that is perfect for attracting interesting migrating birds.
Broadstairs hosts an annual folk festival which transforms the town, and I'm eagerly awaiting next week's concert by the brilliant Chumbawamba.
It is also where my dormant interest in birdwatching was reawakened, as when I went to work there I was struck by the large number of noisy parrots flying around. I browsed the (relatively-new) internet and discovered what they are from a specialist web-site called Planet Thanet. The site also gave remarkably detailed and up-to-date information about what else was seen around the island, so I was able to enjoy my lunch-hours watching sanderlings, turnstones and many other species new to me, on the various beaches around the coast.
The contributors to the site, which was a pioneer before blogs and other recent innovations, were invariably amusing, but also talented and knowledgable naturalists and I learnt quickly.... although not so fast that I didn't avoid some identification howlers.
The site has had its ups and downs as the "editors" have matched unfair criticism with some robust defence, but I'm pleased to welcome it back this month, and wish it well for the future.
One of the many benefits of the site is its structure and time span, which tells me, for example, that I may indeed have seen a Whinchat in the cabbage fields yesterday along with half a dozen Wheatears (although it's a bit early), and that I stood a chance of seeing a second flush of the uncommon Ivy Broomrape in August.
When I got to the site it was clear that I shouldn't have worried - among about 600 spikes there were plenty of new ones, showing off their crushed velvet to the world. The species is present in a few sites in west Kent, but it seems to be on its own here.
This was on Folkestone Warren (so not a Thanet tick).
The poor quality video is included purely to for the buzz.