Monday, 18 May 2015

Been a while, been busy, been travelling, been birding

Old age isn't exactly slowing me down. I've been to a couple of places and done a spot of birding. Not at the places. The places were tourism, the birding has been confined to here, and has been terrible and wonderful in equal measure. Last weekend was terrible so I won't bother writing about that. Today was fantastic, in a raptory sort of way. Three hours watching the junior cricket at Overton Drive added three Red Kite, two Hobbies and a Buzzard (between overs), and then this afternoon I added another half dozen Buzzards, a Peregrine, a Sparrowhawk and a Kestrel for a six Raptor Day and a burnt nose. In Wanstead that's pretty damn good, almost as good as the Peak District I'd wager. Oh no, my mistake, they're all dead. 

Talking of which I've kind of recovered from the General Election and all the disappointment it brought, but it's a long hard road ahead. Bringing some much needed levity (if not outright pleasure) lately has been watching UKIP implode, but that's about the best I can say. It's hugely depressing, and if it angered me last time around it is going to properly make my blood boil this time. I tend to steer clear of politics as I very rapidly get accused of having views that sit nicely alongside my profession - whatever people choose to believe is what they choose to believe, but five more years of this mob with no coalition partners to add a grain of conscience is really not going to be pretty, with wildlife likely to take a real beating. On the plus side rich people are likely to make a lot of money from it, so that's good. Honestly, roll on 2020....

In between filling my boots with raptors I've been to Venice and Stockholm. And Barcelona actually on a family outing, but that seems like ages ago now. Birds seen in Venice included oodles of Swifts and Med Gulls, whilst in Sweden the best showing was from a Baltic Gull. I had no idea I was following in Mick S's illustrious footsteps, but I wasn't armed for bird photography topping out at 200mm. Not to worry, plenty of that to come this summer. I have to say that I enjoyed Stockholm very much, even if the main museum we had planned to visit was closed. Kiddo and I instead walked around a bit, had some meatballs as one does, and enjoyed the old town of Gamla Stan. Venice, with a different kiddo, was every bit as fun and we spent the day mostly on boats in warm sunshine. I'd been before as a kid, but forgotten quite how awesome it is - a wonderous place, crowded as hell but absolutely unique and definitely one for a family trip at some point. When I have a little more time I'll expand on these places but for now simply the usual.......

1 comment:

  1. Actually been there recently and done that. Went to Stokholm some years ago in February and the place was at least two feet thick with snow. Fabulous place