I don’t have time tonight (Friday night) to process any pictures, although I have some I really want to see, but I will see if I can get an abbreviated Ramblings written, to cover today.  Otherwise, I will fall too far behind and end up skipping and forgetting stuff.


After my full English breakfast this morning, I hit the road and made my way across the south of England to the Dungeness spit.  Again, I was struck by how crowded it was and how many cars and people there are here.  It is sure no Australia, in that respect.  It was painful to navigate through all the narrow streets in the towns; I was constantly afraid I was going to scrape a car on the left, as I moved over to try to avoid being hit by oncoming traffic.


I picked up some fish and chips in Rye, for my lunch, and headed out to Rye Harbour to do a little birding, after my lunch.  I ate in the car, and it was very disappointing.  Both the fish and chips were greasier than I had hoped for.  I choked most of it down, and then went walking a bit, to see what I could see.  I picked up a few more birds for my trip and life lists, and took some pictures.  Finally I left heading to where I am staying now.  I missed a turn and ended up having to call to get directions, and finally got here by about 2:30.


I met my host/guide, Paul, and he helped me carry my crap upstairs and I got settled into my new home from home.  It is a very old house, but my bathroom is very modern, and I am sure I will be comfortable here.  Then we headed out to start the birding.  The birds started coming fast and furious.  I was seeing new stuff faster than I could write it in my little notebook.  I may well have missed listing a species or two, as I was so busy looking and writing.  We did some birding from the car, then we stopped at a place and walked a little way to a bird hide and saw some more stuff.  Then back across the road to the main reserve, and we walked for over two hours from there, and saw a ton more stuff.  A few of the highlights:  Yellow Wagtail, Ringed Plover, Marsh Harrier (male and female), Tufted Duck, Red-legged Partridge (one of my favorites), Sedge Warbler, Pochard, Common Swift, Whitethroat, Linnet (some great pictures, I hope), Ruff, Reed Bunting, and both Lesser and
Greater Black-backed Gulls.  Are these names great, or what?  By the time we came home, I had added another 31 species today, and my total is now at 59, with somewhere around 36 of those are lifers.  I need to do some research on species, to see what species here are common with ones I have seen in Australia and in the USA.  Sometimes it isn’t obvious from the common names, and I need to look up the Latin species names to be sure.


We got back here to Plovers, the name of the B&B, at about 7:30, and I had half an hour to get online and check my email, and have a wee dram of Scotch to settle me down.  It turns out that Paul has wi-fi, which is a big surprise to me, and really great, because as you all know, getting online is really important to me when I am traveling alone like this.  It is probably close to an obsession, actually.  Now my problem is going to be that I am going to be too busy actually birding to write about it, but we are all just going to have to live with that “problem”.  I can catch up on the writing later.  Paul had a cancellation for this weekend, so I am the only client, and I plan to take full advantage of that and see what we can see.  Tomorrow night we are going to go out looking for owls, for example, which will cut into my online time, but birding takes precedence over getting online, painful as it is for me to admit that.


We had a really delicious dinner, and I ate far more than I should have, but it sure was enjoyable.  In addition to Paul and his wife, their daughter and a friend of hers are here visiting, so it was a nice little dinner party of five.  Salmon, veggies, potatoes, delicious squash and sweet corn soup, and a great blackberry-something crumble for dessert, with custard on it.  It won’t be like this when I am in my self-catering digs, you can bet on that.


So, it is ten o’clock now, and I agreed to meet downstairs at 7 to head for our pre-breakfast sea-watch, so I had better settle down soon.  It will be cold and probably windy in the morning, and I hope I have warm enough clothes.  I probably won’t post this to the website until tomorrow sometime, maybe after breakfast, since I just put Ramblings 03 up.  Maybe I will add to this, or maybe I will post it as it is, and just start a new one tomorrow night.


What a life!  I feel tired and jetlagged.  We will see how I sleep tonight.