18th May. Daaaaarn To Margate

The downside of getting up at 5am is that by 9pm I'm knackered.  Friday night was no exception and despite having a lunch break power nap I was under the duvet by 10 with the phone switched to silent.
Whilst getting back in bed after one of those early hours toilet visits I glanced at the phone and noticed I had a text message. I read it without my glasses on and then with them on as it made no sense whatsoever.  The text was from Leicester birder Neil Hagley asking me if I was going for the Dusky could he have a lift? Eh? Dusky what? Were these the Friday night drunken ramblings of a Midlands birder? It soon became obvious that they weren't and after scrolling through an endless stream on Twitter all was clear - even at 3am.  I managed to get back to sleep for a couple of hours getting up at six (I had intended to rise at 5) prepared to go down to Orgreave. This coincided with news that the Thrush was still present and within a few minutes arrangements were made and after picking up Roy we were off, picking up Neil en-route.

Despite being some 240 miles away it never seems to take that long to get anywhere in Kent and by 10:30 we were there and just a few minutes later Dusky Thrush was on the list.  In the two hours that we were there it spent all of the time in the same sycamore and ash trees, mostly obscured
 but occasionally showing very well between the gaps in the leaves.

Despite resembling extras from a low budget horror film birders behaviour was exemplary whilst we were there.

The first twitchable since the Hartlepool bird of 1959 this really was one of those mythical blockers and very much on most birders wanted list.  Not quite a year to the day I was at Hartlepool looking enviously at this notice board showing that very bird..

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