Odd morning, with Mrs D telling me about a story she'd come across last night involving a monkey marrying a Yorkshire Terrier.
I like monkeys, and must admit most of 'em could do better than a Yorkshire Terrier.
No sign of the story anywhere despite feverish Googling, so perhaps it was all in her mind.
I hope so, it would never have lasted.
Strange days indeed.
With a bit of rain creeping in, I decided to pop down to Marshside for the tide, which was a gentle grey and birdless mass, although there were plenty of Little Egrets on the water's edge and the usual waders were being displaced by the rising waters.
The scrub around the Grassy Knoll in the Sandplant was buzzing with Willow Warblers, at least 15 sherbet yellow youngsters flycatching and resolutely refusing to sit still long enough to be digiscoped.
Great to see, but nothing like the impressive fall of 'em at Hilbre earlier this week, including a stonking leucistic weirdy one.
Single female Wheatear in the compound too.
A young Dunnock did its best to try to look like a rare as it crept up the stunted apple tree, but fooled no one.
Bazzo was doing the WebS Count on Marshside One, so I wandered down to meet him at Nels, pausing to scope the two eclipse Garganeys which were still sailing around the Junction Pool.
The rain meant the water levels at Nels have risen again, which makes it none too "peep friendly", but 500 Blackwits, hordes of Snipe dropping into the grass, Common Sand, Lapwing, Ruff and single Golden Plover, Avocet and Dunlin were entertaining enough.
A juv Merlin tore through north and put the willies up everything before catching what looked like a passerine and left, allowing the waders to settle down again.
Young Reed Warblers calling in the vegetation below the hide.
Walked back up to the Junction Pool with Bazzo, only to learn the Garganeys had just flown down to Nels, so he headed back down there and I went back into the Sandplant compound as another shower started.
Swift overhead and a handful of hirundines, but the bushes were busier.
Mucho Willow Warbler action still, with the odd Mipit over, Blackbird, Wren, Goldfinch, Linnet and best of all a Spotted Flycatcher, which zipped in to perch in a dark corner for a minute or two.
Fired off a couple of blurry shots in the gloom, pleased with the bird, but sad at how scarce they have become now - the Spotfly sparked a mini-twitch, but by the time folk had arrived, it had flown over the bank and out of sight.
Judging by the smudged streaking on the breast and lack of a clear malar, it looked like a bird of the year.
Made me come over all autumnal - time to start staring into bushes again looking for the good stuff.
Summer shorts off, birding troosers back on.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...