Highs but no Lows

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I was asked last night by Neal ‘On The Trains’ Ball what was the highlight so far. I had already anticipated that someone would ask this and my instant thought is that it has been all good – so much so that it seems that I have been having a great time everywhere we have been. I know that Michelle will have her own thoughts on this and I suspect that I can name a couple of her highs at least. The one continual thought that I do have is just how beautiful England really is. We have seen some great trees and the countryside, thankfully, is littered with them. The five hundred or so years old oak at Tockwith sticks in my mind not because of its girth but because it is still there after centuries have past. It has history too for it is recorded that there was a field hospital under its younger limbs by Cromwell after the battle of Marston Moor which occurred a mile or so down the road in 1644. We are staying at Oakham, Rutland Water is a mere 10 minutes away with great trees surrounded by English greens everywhere one looks. They are all fantastic.

Friday (18th) was our first visit to a Bird Fair. Lots to see and we did. To pursue our hobbies of birding and photography were on our primary list to achieve. We were also on a research mission to glean as much information in respect of Australia, including Tasmania, and New Zealand. We did that and more when we sat in for talks on, Andalucia, Extremadura and Sierra Andujar. This latter one was given by a birding friend Julian Sykes on how to see ‘El Lince’, the Iberian Lynx. You can see him on his website at www.juliansykeswildlife.com It is always good to see someone you know and chat over things. We enjoyed the weekend on some hot English summer days. The sun has really shone for us. Today Michelle was in Leicester doing family things. I spent the day in the nature reserve. This is a must do site and even the Osprey flew in the afternoon. I concentrated on a few ducks which includedTeal, Gadwell, Shoveller, Pochard and Scaup. I saw both Common Sandpiper and Green Sandpiper and also a Little Stint. All very worthwhile and I will go there again before we leave here. Another great day in England with some good moments writing this blog at The Grainstore while downing a pint of Rutland Panther. They have six ales and one mild all of their own and this coming Thursday is the start of the 13th Rutland Beer Festival when they will rack up 70 different ales, beers etc. I have tasted the six but 70! See them on www.grainstorebrewery.com if you are a beer buff like me.