Back to normal. If 'normal' means insomnia, loss of appetite and gut-wrenching stress then I'm definitely back to it. Or at least I was until about 0950 this morning when I finally set eyes on a Hermit Thrush, at which point all these negative emotions were replaced by a strong sense of relief and, eventually, something approaching satisfaction.
|Hermit Thrush, Porthgwarra
|Note the rufous tail, bold chest spots and almost unmarked flanks
The thought of an overnight drive or kipping in the car really didn't appeal so I made for Penzance at a sensible time for a 'B&B' - or, more accurately a 'B' as the second 'B' wasn't going to be necessary. Arriving at Porthgwarra at first light, the next couple of hours produced no sightings and my edifice of optimism began to crumble, particularly when it came under pressure from James Lowen's 'if it's not here by 9, it's not here' theory.
|A difficult bird to photograph - all of these taken using Manual Focus at high ISO ratings
|White-rumped Sandpiper, Marazion
|And here's the white rump
|These pictures don't convey the gale that was blowing at the time and the lashing rain it brought with it
|White-rumped Sandpiper (front) with Dunlin for comparison
|Good job I didn't dash off for the Hermit Thrush yesterday - I would have missed this death-defying leap at Corfe Castle's zipwire for teddies