Friday lunchtime and I get a voicemail from PRB. This can only mean one thing: painful local bird news. I check the message with mounting trepidation. He is out by Chiselhampton and has had three waders fly north, possible Golden Plover... but at this time of year Dotterel are more likely. They have flown towards Cuddesdon. Dotterel. Not even in my wildest dreams.
I check all suitable habitat, i.e. the stubble field, theres nothing apart from fields waist high with rape and wheat, but with expected results: Dottereless. What would it be like to find Dotterel in Cuddesdon I wonder? The joy of the discovery, the admiring from afar, the crawling closer with camera, the capturing of previously unseen display behaviour in frame filling close up, the publication of the pictures to an astonished public, the winning of photo competitions, the funds lavished upon me by wealthy sponsers, the lifetime being paid to take superlative bird images all of the world, admired and envied by all and sundry... I come round from this flight of fancy as I flush two partridge from the edge of Old Barns Field - Grey Partridge, my first for Cuddesdon. There are no Dotterel. Just dreams.