The sun was becoming lower in the sky and it lit the teasels and the reeds beautifully. On this side of the lake were one hundred or more shoveler. In a couple of trees on the other side, 20+ cormorants settled down in their roost. Several marsh harriers and a kestrel were also seen as the light faded.
We made our way home before the light disappeared completely and took Bracken for another walk.
Last week was consumed by volunteering, working at the pub and taking a drive to an area of land which my dad and I visited back in the summer. The land belongs to one of his friends and consists of grassland, which is very overgrown, and an area of woodland. Lots of humongous oak trees, hazels, ash and silver birch make up the wood and we also found quite a few different types of fungi. Running along the bottom of this wood is a stream which was flowing full and fast after the heavy rain on Monday night. A bit of work is needed in order to allow this land to reach it's full potential with regards to attracting wildlife and making it a great habitat.
Yesterday was extremely wet and with water running off the fields as mini waterfalls, the roads became rivers. Luckily we got out for a dog walk before the heavens opened and in the evening I got out before they opened again. We really are quite efficient at rain dodging!
Today we used our new and up to date OS map and went for a lovely long walk with Bracken somewhere we hadn't been before. We found a nice path that took us on a circular route which followed the Wantsum Walk and we photocopied the St Nicholas at Wade and Birchington area to save taking the whole map. We got coated and booted and set off with Bracken, our bins and my camera. We found a handy lay-by to park in then set off. Still plenty of sloes, rose-hips and hawthorn berries, just begging for a waxwing (or a couple of hundred!) to come along and scoff them!
We came to the sea wall and in a field adjacent was a large flock of about 50 brent geese!
We headed down onto the beach and let Brack off the lead. There were lots of other people with dogs off leads, so we hoped pup wouldn't head after them. He played with a couple of other collies but returned to us when we called him away (the promise of a delicious treat was too much to ignore!). I attempted some action shots and was quite pleased with the results. Below are a number of shots of Bracken in various hurtling around poses!
|Pretending to be a horse?|
We also had a fly past of 29 brents.
....and a few gulls
More silly Bracken action shots, another gull and a view of Reculver Towers.
|Reculver Towers in the distance|
|All paws off the ground!|
It turns out we were exploring Minnis Bay, which my mum and dad often brought me to when I was younger.
|Razor clam and crab leg|
We made our way back up onto the promenade and tried to find the footpath which we should have taken earlier on in order to carry on our circular route. It took us across arable farmland and eventually to a farm. We were unsure which path was the right one, but after consulting our photocopied map decided it was. Next time we decide to explore a new place I think I shall do the photocopying because mum did a pretty crap job of it - cutting part of our planned route off! As we carried on our way a late red admiral fluttered past and we also encountered a number of common darters. A buzzard called over head and a flock of chaffinches twittered in the hedgerow. A marsh harrier flew over, as did a kestrel. We came to a point where we could see the car with our binoculars and in the immediate foreground a flock of circa 20 pied wagtails bobbed and tail flicked around.
|Common darters and fly friends basking on the footpath post|
We followed the path and eventually came to the point which we hoped to end up at. Just a short walk back along the small lane we had a brief glimpse of a GSW and soon arrived back at the car. After a delightful 5 mile wander we piled in, finished off our flasks of coffee and made our way home.
|Another view of the towers from the car|
Once home, we unloaded the pup, bag, bins and camera, made ourselves another coffee (with a glug or two of baileys) and headed into the garden. Mum took the washing off the line, I filled the birdie feeders and took these last two photos. The gorgeous autumn leaves rustled and 3 laughing fieldfares flew over. A small flock of starlings settled down for the evening on an aerial.
After becoming quite chilled by the rapidly decreasing temperature, we returned indoors and I settled down to write this on the couch with Bracken sleeping by my side and acting as a much appreciated hot water bottle. I'm now sitting content after a delicious roast dinner and sipping my G&T. We will probably now finish off that wine we opened on Friday night! It is the weekend after all.
Anyway thank you for reading, I hope you have all had an equally lovely weekend. Although, on this wonderful bright autumnal day, I can't help but feel awfully lucky to live where we do. With the typhoon that has hit the Philippines and it being remembrance Sunday, it reminds us how fortunate we are. Today was a day to appreciate what we have, and remember those brave soldiers who fought for our country and all those still out there in the forces.