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....
|Dunlins (I think?)|
|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...
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.