The steaming plate of lovingly prepared mashed tatties, perfectly cooked salmon fillet and pile of juicy peas was just going on the table when Neill rang this evening.
"I've got two Dotterel - where are you?"
My steaming plate of lovingly prepared mashed tatties, perfectly cooked salmon fillet and pile of juicy peas was hastily wrapped in foil and went back in the oven, while an understanding Mrs D tucked into her tea alone and I hit the road and hurtled down to the fields behind Town Lane, Kew.
Got there mighty fast (but safely officer, honest) and found Neill Hunt at the side of the road looking out onto a ploughed field, at the back of which were two gorgeous female Dotterels!
Happy, happy, happy.
Sure they were distant, but just so entrancing in the warm evening sun as they ran up and down the furrows, popping in and out of sight, wonderful birds.
Invisible, then bang! a blaze of orange and black belly and lightning strike supercilium as they crested the top of another furrow...incredible.
Great 'scope views.
Even better, Neill had found them while standing on his local patch, the now-fabled KBO, and what does a dedicated patch birder look like when he finds two Dotterel on his site?
He looks like this:
Many thanks for the call buddy, you know how unhealthy my Dotterel obsession is.
Watched the birds for 40 minutes or so, then left Neill watching the Dotterel in the evening sun with Pete Allen, returning home to the still warm fishy fishy in the oven....marvellous.
Not Plex, but not that far away, and a whole lot better than a hill beginning with "P".
Thanks again Neill.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...