Saturday, 24 December 2016

Making The Most Of Our Extra Minute

Thursday 22nd December 2016
Well, the winter solstice passed without event. From here on in it's uphill all the way!

For me, this is effectively the New Year, a time to start looking forward, drawing up plans, getting excited.

But that could wait. Today we planned to make the very most of the extra minute of daylight. In the plans were a trip to Norfolk to take the dogs to the beach. This, as far as Boris and Arthur are concerned, is just about as good as it gets. We planned to meet up with friends too for a touch of brunch in a dog-friendly café. Of course, it might just be possible to squeeze in a little birding too.

The plan went well.

While Sue and the dogs played on the beach, I managed to check out the sea ducks and gulls offshore. The telescope brought them a little closer, but they were still a long way off.

Then it was off to The Artemis coffeeshop in Cley to meet up with a couple of new friends, two birders whose life experiences add up to about eight of my lives! Fascinating and inspirational. Boris and Arthur had an important job to do, for the young lad was very wary of dogs. Boris and Arthur needed to be true ambassadors for dogs, which they duly did by sitting up on the bench, rolling over and generally being very soppy.
They met another dog, Millie, too.

Peter used to be chief curator at the Natural History museum and informed us of some earth star fungi nearby which DNA samples have, apparently, just revealed to be a new species for the world!!! They were by this time of year a little past their best, but I was very happy to see my first ever earth stars.

There was time to stop off and scan through a large flock of geese to pick out the rarities. A red-breasted goose played hide and seek behind a ridge. So much so that I only managed to see it through somebody else's telescope. By the time I pointed mine in the right direction it had waddled out of view. A Canada Goose was in the same flock, not one of those you see round park lakes, but a proper one, a vagrant from the other side of the Atlantic.

A Todd's Canada Goose, all the way from America,
subtly different to the feral birds so common in our parks.
We were home just before dark. It had been a long day! Well, longer than yesterday, by a whisker.

There was just time to catch and dispatch another turkey. Tomorrow we head off to see Santa, who is going to help us stuff the turkey. Really.

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