This Bank Holiday weekend friends from Cornwall (Debbie and Alec) retaliated to my frequent visits to their house at convenient times of year for rare bird migration by arriving at mine. They were of course made very welcome, and a bit of birding had to be squeezed in on Friday night before their arrival, and Monday evening after their departure. And on the Saturday, when we took them to Arne. And a bit on Sunday when I dragged Alec to Portland for an early morning shift. Well it's not my fault if they didn't read the small print.
On Friday there was just time between plumping up the pillows in the spare room and rolling out the red carpet to nip up to Longham Lakes to see a Bonaparte's Gull which had spent a few days in the area, one of a number of this wanderer from the Americas to turn up in southern England in recent days. That was easy enough to find on the North Lake, either hawking insects or sitting out on a man-made island near the shore.
With our guests arriving late on Friday, the household succumbed to the temptation of a lie in on Saturday and after lunch at the Arne café, we took the long route around the reserve which took us away from the busiest areas. Highlights were a couple of Sand Lizards, one of which, to our surprise, sat out on the heather next to the path and didn't scarper as we made our way past. This was closely followed by an exquisite Small Copper and an equally exquisite male Siskin by the café.