It's not often I correctly predict weather conditions favourable to good birding here on the south-east corner but Saturday was one of those rare days, as the Bockhillers reported on Birdguides.Unfortunately I couldn't be there to witness it - a list of sightings that far exceeds anything I've seen in my few years of seawatching at Kingsdown.
But having spent a few hours gnashing and grinding my teeth, I admit that there were a few compensations on the weekend:
Devil's-Bit Scabious is now almost at its best at Lydden, and the blue sky and buzzards overhead added to the beauty of the place. And nobody about - I can't believe it. This is surely one of the most stunning sights of the year. Does the public spend all weekend in front of the TV?
A quick visit to the ARC pit at Dungeness gave some interesting views, with a plethora of little waders to identify including Little Stints and Curlew Sandpipers, a Little Gull and a visit by three Black Terns, flying in their ethereal floating way over the lake in search of food.
There was also a female Goosander that paddled slowly past the hide, generally with head under water - now one of my books says that the Goosander is "usually a shy bird, easily scared off even at long range". Not this lady.
At the point the long-stay Long-tailed Skua had, of course, flown, but on the shingle some of the lovely tiny plants were still flowering,
and a Leopard Slug crossed my path.
If you want to know more about the fascinating procreational techniques of this species, please use the usual search engines - I don't want hits from unwanted visitors on this blog, thank you very much.
And finally, the garden of some friends has been occupied by large numbers of miner bees that have excavated burrows in the lawn, flower beds and paths. Judging from the photo supplied (many thanks) they are here for the Rugby World Cup. "The fly-half is hovering......"