A four hour bird race with Ephraim was the theme for the day and set off in opposite directions at 12 noon. Given the time of day, time of year and limited time, it was unsurprising that both our totals were rather poor. To make it even more difficult, I was not allowed to use my scope as it would otherwise have been unfair on my brother as he does not have one. In total I recorded only 36 species, the highlights being a single Bearded Tit at the Swale NNR, 3-4 Whimbrel, 1 Little Egret, 3 Marsh Harriers, 1 Turtle Dove and my first COMMON SANDPIPER of the year (I missed all the spring migrants due to exams). A few butterflies were also on the wing and included 1 Peacock and 1 Red Admiral amongst the commoner Small Whites, Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns. On my way down to the Swale, I also encountered a Stoat, which crossed the path not far ahead of me, bounded away from me, before crossing the path once again and disappearing into the field, something I would otherwise rarely have seen in Hertfordshire and definitely brightened up my spirits for the day.