Dropped the motor in the garage at 9 - it would be ready by 3.
Plenty of time to cover some ground & we headed down the burn to Lumley Castle & to the River.
A Dabchick on the burn was totally unexpected, my first here in 10 years.
Nowadays Dippers are a feature of this stretch, always entertaining. Several zipped past at speed, but we were able to study 3 at our leisure, one in particular was a show off, preening & drying off in front of us at close range.
He (or she) then began to sing.
Plenty of water at Houghton Gate with 100's of gulls, a dozen Teal, 70 grazing Wigeon, a couple of Snipe & 250+Curlew.
Through the wood, it was generally quiet, though a pathside Hare bolted from under a Holly tree.
Down at the River, Kingfisher, 10Goosander, 70Swan & 60 Tufted added interest.
Nice to bump into DK on the way back.