I didn't book it, of course, but in the interest of familial harmony I had to be there. So, with Seppy and Royzah creeping disturbingly into contention, off patch for a week I went.
Scenic shenanigans at the Cliffs of Moher
It was a pleasant enough break. Clare is pretty scenic, all things considered. Dipping a tawny pipit on Loop Head, watching a frantic merlin terrorising red admiral butterflies, and seeing a group of five
When the swans flew over I remember thinking "shame they never fly over my patch".
So imagine my surprise back home yesterday morning when, on my way to the car to buy firelighters (it's that time of year again), I heard a trumpety honking overhead, and looked up to see another five (count 'em) whoppers flying over my garden. What are the chances?
Photo swiped from d'interwebs natch; I tend not to take the camera out to buy firelighters
Add them to the female shoveler that was dicking around with a posse of mallard on the lake the day before yesterday and you have two full-fat patch ticks in as many days... and more importantly a bumped up total of 101.53%.
Which is just as well given how close things are getting at the top...