Do you remember last year I turned fifteen? Well, this came as a shock to find out, but this year I'm going to be even older. The cheek of it all. Tomorrow I turn the ripe old age of sixteen... time to break out the walking stick.
In keeping with the tradition of the last few years, I celebrated the last few days of being a (variable of course) age by going birding. You may be proud to know that for this year's pre-birthday events, I didn't even twitch. After last year I think not twitching was... umm, wise. So, just good old - old, stop reminding me - fashioned birding.
On Saturday I headed out with Caleb and Liam for a day of birding around very windy Sussex. Bus birding to be precise, which constitutes a lot of buses and, well, on this occasion, not a lot of birds.
We started the day shortly after sunrise at Brighton Marina, and saw some large waves and a Rock Pipit. Exciting times.
On from there, buses to Hove Lagoon for some distant views of a Great-northern Diver on Southwick Canal. This was a county tick though, so a nice addition to a list that I don't really keep. Possibly as it would be scarily low if I did.
Despite the wind's best intentions to blow us away, Liam managed to find a pair of Common Scoter out on the sea from the beach here, a relatively good bird in Sussex at this time of year.
Back into East Sussex after that, to the Ouse Estuary Project where we had nice views of Kestrel and half a dozen or so Snipe in flight. The light had begun to fade by this point, so we made our final stop at Newhaven to try and find a Caspian or something else interesting among the gulls coming in to roost. The wind then decided that shouldn't be possible and reached rather its peak of the day. 'Blowing a Gale', I believe would be a fitting expression.
There was a Shag in the harbour, and with seemingly nothing among the gulls, we called it a day. The weather was not hospitable.
The journey home took me to an all time personal best, ten buses boarded in a day! It turns out the excitement of buses ran out for me about ten years ago. I think trains to be more bearable a form of public transport.
We didn't see anything amazing, but still, not an unenjoyable day's birding. At least I didn't dip...