Monday 12 April 2010

Back home - briefly

Well, after two weeks of rather hectic travelling, we arrived home yesterday to some really nice weather and a few migrants around - Wheatear, Swallow, Chiffchaff and Bonxie. Last night we were even treated to a brief showing of the Northern Lights but I was just too tired to go out beyond Baltasound (and no light pollution) to get a better look.

During the first week away, I did manage to get a day out with my friend and photographer Martin Dyer to several nature reserves in the Midlands. Sula (my eldest) and I had a few hours at The Cotswold Falconry Centre near Moreton-in-Marsh, Glos and had a good chat with Geoff (Dalton) the owner and as always, Sula ends up helping with part of a display. The weather wasn't good - cool and flat light, so I just took a few close-ups of the birds.

'Xena' the Golden Eagle

I know the focus point should be on the eye, but I liked the POV and thought it looked effective.

I then headed with my eldest daughter down to the New Forest for a couple of days where we met up with the rest of the family at my in-laws. After that, it was back to the Cotswolds for a couple of nights before heading to Oxford. Whilst in the Cotswolds, we did manage a few hours at Slimbridge and despite the weather (cold and rather flat lighting and rain later) I did manage to get some good views of two pairs of Garganey. One pair we did get to see at very close range from one of the south lake hides but by this time it was now raining.

male Garganey

On reaching Oxford, it was where my 'enjoyment' of our trip south virtually ended, I ended up in the John Radcliffe hospital having a chest x-ray for a lung infection. I won't bore you with details but the following week was literally a pain. Instead of heading north on the Thursday of the 2nd week, we left on the Tuesday for Liverpool to stay with friends for two nights, quickly followed by two nights in Edinburgh. The downside of the shortened visit south was not being able to visit friends that I'd planned to, so a big sorry to you all.

Fortunately the boat journey back from Aberdean was as calm as a millpond and all managed a good nights sleep.

As the title suggests, the return back to Unst is to be a brief one as there has been a bereavement in the family and Catriona and I have to return south again for 4 days. Please bear with me and 'normal service will be resumed as soon as possible'


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