On Thursday, I took advantage of a day off to go over to Norfolk for some birdwatching. The skies as I left home were flawless blue, and it was warm and still.
The moment I got past King's Lynn, though, it was like being in a different time zone. Grey clouds stretched into the distance, there was a howling gale blowing, it was cold, and it didn't stop raining all day.
The joy of Norfolk, though, is that all those things don't really matter. The weather did make RSPB Titchwell appear disturbingly like it did when I was last there, in January, but the faces had changed. Autumn migration is just starting to happen in earnest, and there were plenty of waders about. Ruffs, sadly without their spectacular breeding plumage, loads of Avocets and Oystercatchers, the odd Curlew, and a small flock of Golden Plovers. The latter showed an astonishing array of appearances, from one bird still in full breeding plumage, through all the intermediate stages to the rather dull winter look I'm used to seeing at home.
Elsewhere, there was a distant Marsh Harrier and a good-sized flock of Black-tailed Godwits on Cley Marshes, and I spent my usual 20 minutes rummaging through the secondhand poetry volumes in a little shop in Wells. I found Mark Ford's Soft Sift for £2 - I've never read anything by him before, so I'm looking forward to it.