Sunday, 23 February 2014

Sunday's Sea Walk With Grumpy Teens, Birds In The Garden & A New Healing Circle

L had to do the job of being All Grumpy Teens today, as he was the only one home. As regular readers will know, I am currently engaged on a bid to improve my seabird and wader skills (about which L is thrilled) and we accordingly set off bright and breezy this morning for Farlington Marshes near Portsmouth, having checked the tide table first.

It was blowing a hoolie and a half when we got there and there was very nearly outright rebellion the second we parked the car. I know Farlington is an internationally important reserve for birds, but I didn't like it at all. I didn't like the energy, the industrial landscape or the fact you can hear the M27 as a constant ROAR behind you.
The only birds we saw were this substantial flock of dark-bellied brent geese....

For once, L and I were in complete agreement about abandoning the walk. We had a difference of opinion about whether to then go on to Keyhaven, with L being in favour of going home, but because he is only 12 and M and I are 40 and 46, we won.

We arrived at Keyhaven an hour later to a much better scene bird-wise....

Black-headed gull

Dunlins (I think?)

More Dunlins

3 red-breasted mergansers


A pair of Shellducks (at a distance, so apols for grainy shot)





Masters of Disguise- can you see all three Turnstones in this shot?

 By this point L had had a sense of humour failure (to be fair, it was very cold and windy and his jeans have no knees....)

I came very close to screaming at a family who had allowed their enormous golden retriever to run amok through all the birds, sending them all screeching up into the air as it rushed through the waters straight at them. I was livid, all the more so when the stupid father of the family just laughed. I didn't trust myself to speak, so I contented myself with glaring severely at the woman who, I noticed when I saw them later, had got the dog back on its lead. Why do people do that? Which bit of crass, stupid and insensitive do they think doesn't apply to letting your dog run through wild birds in that way? 

Calming down, I met M back at the car and we were making our way back up the single track lane that leads from Hurst Spit when we encountered an aged couple driving a huge Mercedes right in the middle of the road. He clearly didn't want to risk scratching his car on a bramble, so then we had to endure half a year of reversing very very slowly all the way back to a passing place that was wide enough to let two buses pass (well, slight exaggeration there perhaps).

We've been busy in the garden this weekend. I've been after a White Jasmine for my moths and have now found one. We've also decided to create a new bed just for wild flowers and spent a few hours yesterday digging it out....

 The Robin came for an inspection...

Meanwhile, Ted was standing with a paw in the air looking pained, and when I went to find out why I discovered this stuck in one of the pads....


I found the skeleton of a syphilis near the compost (yes, I know it's physalis really, I've just got syphilis stuck in my head)...

And look what else was fluttering about the garden and feeding on the Daphnes....

Drone Fly (Eristalis tenax)
And a Red Admiral Butterfly!

Mrs Sparrow was around and swooped down for a chat...

 And the LTTs were also Quite Interested in the gardening projects....

And then guess who else turned up? 

An extremely fat Goldfinch, who was presumably feeling the cold. Actually, there were two, but they flew off the feeders and into the apple tree before I could get any closer shots. Still, it means they are around, which is all that matters.

I also saw this Song Thrush when dropping some primroses over to Ma yesterday. He/ she was in the paddock with a pair of Blackbirds who (unlike ours here) seemed quite content to share space and didn't drive the thrush away...

There's been a new bird edition to our house this weekend as well. Our new front door mat...

And here are a couple of shots of Ma's dogs that I tool yesterday and rather like: Dylan (looking a good deal older than the last time he featured on the blog) and Dougal, who has taken Great Exception to Pops and bites her whenever he gets the chance....



Finally, I want to tell you all about a New Venture Denise over at Much Malarkey Manor and I have set up. We met through our respective blogs and clicked and have been friends ever since. It was a while after we met on line that we discovered we were both healers who between us have over 40 years experience in healing. We've been able to offer each other help and insights along the way as a result.
Anyhoo, I have long wanted to set up a simple healing circle, but it has never quite come together, and I suggested to Denise a few weeks back that maybe she and I could sit together, at the same time every week, but in our separate houses (as she lives in Kent and we're in Hampshire), and have a quiet half hour/ hour to rest, think peaceful thoughts, meditate and send out healing to anyone who needed it.
She thought it was a good idea and so we have set up a new joint-blog called 'Home to Heart' to explain it all. We'll be starting on Monday March 3rd if you'd like to join us. You can find out more here

I think that's about it for now. Back to the usual routine tomorrow as school, college and work resume. I hope you've all had a grand weekend and that the coming week is kind to you.

CT :-)


  1. That Goldfinch is outrageous! Particularly love your Turnstone pics - what a great haul. How amazing to have met Denise and become such close friends - blogging can be a marvelous thing. Good luck with the circle and thank know what I mean!

    That picture of Dylan is brilliant and if you ever go ahead with wanting a drawing, that would be a really good one!

    Hope you've had a great weekend....I can hardly wait for OB to get to THAT age. He's still pretty amenable but all that will soon be changing. We're off to Scotland in the May half term and I'm keenly aware that it might be one of the last times we go away and all enjoy ourselves TOGETHER. xx

    1. I love Turnstones- there's just something about them and they are often quite amenable to having me close by taking pics, which helps!

      I will nudge Ma about the drawing- funnily enough I thought the same thing when I saw the pics.

      Re kids, every age has its pluses and minuses I guess. One benefit of having teenagers is if M and I fancy a walk, a cuppa and a slice of cake in a nice cafe we can generally do it now without needing to organise babysitters before hand! Enjoy Scotland- it sounds wonderful and I shall look forward to hearing all about it.

      Thanks for good wishes re circle too xx

  2. I'm just going to have to get one of those doormats, even though there is a very high probability it will be attacked..

    1. I thought it might appeal to you. I got it from Hilliers garden centre :-)

  3. Poor Ted with the thorn in his paw. The bird watching was a successful outing despite the cold and the grumpy teenager! Sarah x

    1. He is such a star and didn't complain at all about the thorn, just sat there with his paw in the air looking uncomfortable, bless the lad.
      Yes, gorgeous birds even if L wasn't half as impressed as I was! It's all educational for him I figure :-) xx

  4. A great selection of birds from Keyhaven - looks a great reserve :) Lovely to see the Red Admiral too - not butterflies spotted round here yet. I rather like the pheasant door mat :)

    1. It's a fabulous place and has fast become my favourite stretch of coast. I've seen oyster catchers, ringed plovers etc there in the past, so hoping to spend more time down there as the year progresses and see more birds. There's a nice circular run M can do at the same time which will keep him happy! :-)

  5. All of your bird and other wildlife photos are always so lovely to see! Good luck with your new venture, I hope that it goes well for you. xx

  6. Lovely collection of photos-really enjoyed them. Brilliant doormat. Love to see the bees and butterflies and a great selection of sea birds...looks like I'll be learning there id from you, like the moths.

    1. Thanks Suzie :-) I've just discovered (through posting the pics here!) that my ma shares a fascination with sea birds and waders, having been brought up by the sea herself, so now I have a companion to go bird watching with who is interested in seeing them, which will make a nice change!! x

  7. I am glad that you went to explore and didn't go home! A lovely selection of seabirds that you saw :) Love the physalis skelly! I have only just got around to seeing this post, but I really like the idea you and Denise have built upon. I shall probably join you next Monday :) x

    1. That would be lovely Lou- you'd be very welcome. It's nice to think of people coming together to spread good thoughts and good will. Might just balance some of the unpleasant discordant stuff that seems to be around! x


Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x