After the heartbreak of missing the pectoral sandpiper at my old local patch at Willington, I subjected Katie to psychic chinese burns all day today in the hope she would psychologically collapse and go to Grafham Water with me for the 8,147th pectoral sandpiper to appear in the UK this autumn.
''It's only a f*cking pec sand!'' she said of the last one.
''But a very smart looking individual'' I countered, eyebrows arched knowingly, but secretly thinking ''Yes, but we both need to see it for it to count. Even though it won't because we're only counting UK breeders''
We arrived, I scanned. Katie watched f*cking mallards on the bird table. But i guess thats better than watching mallards f*cking on the bird table.
I got onto the bird. By the time Katie got there it had disappeared behind the most stupidly positioned tree since the death of Marc Bolan.
(If you've ever been to the Valley Creek Hide at Grafham, you'll know what I mean).
I scanned again for another 30 minutes. A small, long-winged wader with pale underwings flew across and alighted at a distance of about four and a half miles.
Thank f*ck for that. Katie gets on to it and concurs with my now somewhat desperate identification. A pec sand alright, but hardly crippling views.
I wonder if I can persuade her to go back tomorrow? ;-)