Ah, the pain of knowing the White Tailed Plover is there, albeit elusive just across the border...but all that gave way to that old familiar adrenalin rush just as soon as the Baby Black Death whizzed onto the M6 this afternoon, the rev counter rocketed and the accelerator hit the floor.
A short time later, Jellyhead and I were pulling up at Caerlaverock in Dumfriesshire, and speed walking down to the Avenue Hide.
This modern day Tower of Babel overlooked the outer marshes of the Solway, where about 700 yards away, the White Tailed Plover was just visible, at the very limits of scope id range.
As we negotiated our way up the stairs (it was nowhere near as crammed as yesterday by all accounts) I took the precaution of looking thro' several scopes in case the mega disappeared before we got a speck.
First scope was trained on two blobs, which later turned out to be swan feathers; second was trained with unerring accuracy on a Redshank and the third was honed in on a Lapwing.
Come on guys, just cos the bird's far away, there's no need to take up residency in fantasy land!
Get a grip.
Luckily we got a space up at the top of the hide and I got my scope on the White Tailed Plover, or pale grey speck, depending on how you look at it, a few seconds before it raised its lovely black and white wings and had a good flap.
Tickety tick tick.
Long range, but still a tick.
Then the plover sank into the long grass.
Out of sight. 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes - had it died? Been eaten by a passing badger? Nibbled to pieces by grasshoppers?
I kept scoping the marsh for so long I was no longer looking at the marsh, I was the marsh.
Then suddenly the White Tailed Plover popped up out of the grass right in the middle of my scope and flew right towards us - brilliant flight views.
Big black and white wings, dusky chest, white belly, long dangly yellow legs and buff back.
Pale head and buffy throat - and a big white tail, superb scope views.
Too gobsmacked to take any pix, apart from the landscape view from the hide above.
Life is good.
Thanks to Neill (aka the birder with no nickname) who sent me his shots of the plover taken on the first day - yer man is always quick off the blocks, but as he says, taking pix in a rugby scrum is not always easy!
To read about the day that White Tailed Plover came into his life, don't forget to go to Neill's new website (the link is on the homepage, imaginatively titled "Neill Hunt".)
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies....