Wednesday, 20 February 2013

An afternoon At Keyhaven

Beautiful weather yesterday (where has it gone today?). We took F and L to Keyhaven to let off some boyish steam on the beach. I always find the sea very affecting: I have to be careful about being near it on powerful days when it's energy is sometimes too much for mine. I've come back with migraines before and left feeling edgy and overwhelmed by it. Get it right though and it can be amazing: restoring, rejuvenating, cleansing or sometimes just peaceful and calm. Luckily, yesterday was a soothing rather than unsettling day, one of those when you can sigh out the stale stuff and breath in the fresh and feel it doing you good.

 F (middle son) discovered a passion for metal detecting last year which has him well and truly in it's grip and he is rarely parted from his detector (it sleeps in his room) so it inevitably came with us. 
He's had a fair amount of success with it in the fields near home, finding all sorts of interesting pieces ranging from a silver sixpence to a medieval spur. It's kick-started what we hope will be a life-long and abiding love of history and it has been amazing to see how much he's learnt in a relatively short space of time (and has left me wondering what school history lessons could learn from all this?). There were no amazing finds today but I think he enjoyed it nevertheless.

L is our mountain goat, rarely on the ground if there's a tree or a rock to climb, so the enormous granite boulders stacked all along the beach were his pretty-near perfect playground (no good for his mother's stomach or heart though- all that leaping over crevices, but hey ho, that's the lot of mothers of boys).

Ted meanwhile enjoyed leaping on an unsuspecting M who was enjoying a gentle snooze in the sun and not at all prepared for what he described as a "proper French kiss with dog breath" Mmm, lovely.


I love Keyhaven for it's salt marshes and seabirds. Here's the view towards the light house across the salt marsh. The second photo is Hurst Castle, built by Henry VIII in response to the threat of invasion from the French.

Sandpipers and a Gull

Geese on the wing (I think Brent)

This lovely Egret is a permanent resident and was having a lovely time catching things

I'm reasonably good on id's for garden birds but rubbish at seabirds so Keyhaven always provides a good learning exercise for me. I can now identify turnstones, oyster catchers, egrets and sandpipers.

Turnstone (perfectly named as it turns out- we saw them flicking pebbles over to look for goodies)

The Needles off the end of the Isle of Wight

More Turnstones

Sandpiper (I think)

Oyster Catcher

We rounded the afternoon off with a pebble-tower building contest and then had a competition to see who could knock the tower down with a single well-aimed pebble. L won. I (for once) came a close second, F was nose-down on the scent of something metal that turned out to be a fishing weight so wasn't playing, and M (for once) came a close third. Happy days!



  1. Hi, just popped over from Dartmoor Ramblings.
    I've really enjoyed your seabird pictures. What a great day on the beach!

  2. Hi Jessica, thanks for popping over and glad you liked the photos. I'm going to keep track of your blog too- we have a similar-sounding existence and it's always nice to hear what other countryside folks are up to!

  3. Oyster catchers, redshanks, turnstones and more! Beautiful pictures. I especially appreciate the shimmering tower of the lighthouse in the distance that looks like a Monet painting. Tres beau! Well done.

  4. Mark- is the one I put down as a sandpiper a redshank then? I did wonder (the legs are a bit of a give away I suppose!). Thanks for the nice comment, much appreciated - especially from you who's photos are always stunning.

  5. You have it right. I'm fairly certain the red legged bird is a redshank. Thanks for your comment on my photos, but you most surely have a fine eye too!

  6. What a lovely day out and fabulous pictures. We meant to go to the sea this half term but just haven't managed it. I have your visit instead!

  7. Em- You're most welcome! Any news on Tigger? I've just agreed a sale for Minty and think I've also sold Pip now too. Big relief - both perfect homes. All change on the horse front here. Will post more on that subject later...


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