Friday, September 28, 2007

Day of Delights

Steady, people, steady ... Lord H took the day off today and we've spent it doing a "Day of Delights" at Pulborough Brooks. It was great. We did the tour of the part of the reserve where most of the birds are in the morning, and I managed to catch sight of a chiffchaff (which I only realised as the expert told me so - I wouldn't have recognised the darn thing otherwise, believe me ...), a kestrel, six zillion Canada geese and a swan in flight. Amongst other excitements.

The kestrel was particularly good as we were so high up that we were actually above it as it was doing its hovering trick - it's astonishing how they manage to stay so still and yet the wings are moving so fast. I also managed to maintain my record of never being in the right place at the right time to see a green woodpecker. Everyone else in the group saw one, but not me. Sadly. So it's good to see that the ancient Curse of the Woodpecker Witch still holds its ancient power. My current working theory is that I do actually see them, but they are disguised as rabbits. There were a lot of rabbits.

The additional joy of Pulborough Brooks is that their food is utterly amazing. We were expecting a quick snack lunch of soup or maybe a sandwich. What they actually provided was quiche, beef, ham, curried chicken, potato salad, green salad and coleslaw. And in case that wasn't enough, they added melt-in-the-mouth apple pie, custard and cream. Oh, and I mustn't forget the homemade cake for tea. It's a miracle we managed the afternoon walk at all. Though I do have to say the afternoon session didn't quite grab me as much as the morning one - partly due to the rain and non-appearance of anything remotely resembling wildlife. Winged or otherwise. And partly due to the fact that they were walking us round a part of the reserve they're still working on, so we were getting a lot more information on what it would be like eventually and what we might expect to see. Which isn't as nice as seeing it.

Oh, and the bizarre coincidence was that one of the girls showing us round was the same one who gave us the boat safari at Arundel Wetlands Centre so obviously the World of Sad Bird People is a small one. Which is possibly not that surprising. I was also incredibly brave today (pause for short round of applause. Thank you! Thank you! Yes, that's probably enough now ...) as we had a quick look at moths caught in the moth trap from the night before. And one of these was actually a hornet, which was the first one Moth Man handed me. In a glass cube, but even so ... I think Lord H was pretty impressed that I didn't smash it on the floor and jump up and down on the evil beast. But even I know that wouldn't go down well in nature circles.

Tonight, we're planning pizza & garlic bread, plus there's wine in the fridge cooling nicely, hurrah! And enough TV on to keep my brain from being too active. So that suits me nicely, sir.

Today's nice things:

1. Seeing a chiffchaff. Ooh and a kestrel.
2. Homemade cake
3. Pizza and wine.

Anne Brooke
Anne's website


Cathy said...

Hmm. Despite having grown up in the country, having a mother who is a member of the RSPB and a childhood family friend who was an avid birdwatcher, I'm afraid for me it ranks only slightly higher than train spotting in the interest stakes. Especially in this weather.

It's great that you and Lord H enjoy all these wildlife outings, and the food sounded lovely, but I'll stick with David Attenborough and Bill Oddie on the TV, thanks!


Anne Brooke said...

Certainly the less rainy and warmer option, Cathy!


Casdok said...

I love your nice things lists!

Anne Brooke said...

Thanks, Casdok - it's the only thing that keeps me going sometimes!



slippingthroughtheworld said...

anne this sounds like an absolutely wonderful day, even to an old city-girl like me. you made me smile at your enthusiasm.

irene x

Anne Brooke said...

Thanks, Irene - but nothing old about you, m'dear!! Wash your keyboard with Carbolic at once!