Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Local in-law patch

Shingle where it shouldn't be
It's half term, and to kick the week off, we have traveled down to Portsmouth to visit my fiancé's parents. Playing the motorway bird of prey game on the way there and back was quite rewarding this time - four buzzards and two kestrels on the way there, four kestrels on the way back. Luckily we had time for a spot of wildlife watching whilst we were there too.

Like Norwich, Portsmouth has been hit by the severe weather to some extent, which has brought shingle up from the beach, to the walkway, and into the gardens along the seafront.
One of several found in gardens

On our walk along the seafront, as well as looking at the 'devastation', we spotted some purple sandpipers foraging along the tide line and a whole host of bird watchers with spotting scopes, binoculars and cameras following these sweet little birds up and down. I plucked up the courage to ask what they were looking at, and it turns out that they had also spotted a rock pipit along the seafront too. One was kind enough to let me look at the purple sandpipers through his telescope.

Purple sandpipers

Whilst looking out to to sea, we also watched a cormorant diving in and out of the waves, but on turning around, we saw one of the most entertaining 'wildlife' moments... A feral pigeon sheltering in a canon...

When we reached the boating lake, there was a menagerie of gulls and mute swans all jostling for position, the most notable of which were the enormous greater black backed gulls which completely dwarfed the black headed gulls.

We left them to their squabbling and headed home before the heavens opened. But, despite the weather, there are signs of spring all around, crocuses and snowdrops coming into bloom and daffodils beginning to nod their colourful heads along the verges.

Now we're back in Norwich, we're hoping to make it out to one of our local patches before the week is out!

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