Sunday was one of those beautiful days that you want to remember forever. The mist was thick in the morning, and it never cleared from the football pitch at all. We peered into the gloom and our hair got damp and some of us got soaked from the wet grass.
After lunch we went to the wildfowl and wetlands reserve at Slimbridge. The mist was still patchy at first, but then it vanished leaving a blue sky and low winter sun. There were fifty-five Bewick's swans there that day. They are recently arrived from Arctic Russian, some 2,500 miles away. They are quite small, as swans go, but fly at up to 50mph on their amazing journey. Their arrival always heralds the start of winter for me. They will be here now until spring, feeding and gaining strength ready for the flight back to the tundra and the breeding season. Bewick's are rare birds and it's always such a pleasure and a privilege to see them.
The two littler boys went to the play area with other half for a while to see how much mud they could slather onto themselves, and the biggest boy and I wandered about the hides and paths. Birdwatchers are such a friendly helpful bunch, we've learned so much from them. And they are always so kind to the biggest boy, helping him with his identifications and encouraging him all the way. We even ran into the man who co-wrote a waterfowl guide that the biggest boy has. He's a warden there, and was so interesting and informative. And he signed the book which made the biggest boy very happy.
We ended the afternoon at the top of a tower hide overlooking the river and the wetlands. Some of the birders there let him look through their telescopes at a peregrine falcon and some of the nine cranes that were at the site that day. I looked through the binoculars for a while, but mostly I sat watching the most amazing sunset above the river and watching the biggest boy doing something that he loves. The sky turned pink and orange and mauve and the clouds were outlined in brilliant gold. I tried to capture it with my camera but it was beyond me. In the end I just sat gazing at it and trying to soak it all up. It was one of those moments that I hope will always stay with me.
I love going into the hides near us and learning so much from the bird enthusiasts. I could listen to them for hours. Your photos of the misty morning were so atmospheric, I could feel the chilly air hitting my lungs while looking at them - and the sunset, wow! I love how they change so quickly with their rainbows of colours. Take care xReplyDelete
What a wonderful afternoon and an amazing sunset. I'm sure your biggest boy will remember it too xxReplyDelete
BEAUTIFUL photos! Wish I had seen these views in person. So glad you had such a great day:)ReplyDelete
It sounds like a perfect Sunday afternoon to me!! So glad that you enjoyed it. xxReplyDelete
I hope so too, CJ. It looks beautiful out there. I think that dense fog and mist, as a weather description, is something I miss more than almost anything else since I moved to the desert. I have seen fog here exactly once, and I took pictures because it was so unusual. I think it's wonderful that your son is such an avid birdwatcher. I've always been impressed by people who really know their birds.ReplyDelete
How beautiful I can see why you want to remember it for ever. I wonder if those cranes came from Somerset where they have been reintroduced in recent years? We used to see the cranes overhead when we lived in France and it heralded the end of winter when they flew over or so our neighbour told us that first year but either the cranes were mistaken or the tale as not true as after they'd passed we had heavy snowfalls!! I often hope to see them here but never have.ReplyDelete
Yes, they're Great Crane Project cranes, and so lovely to see. Before the project there hadn't been any here for 400 years I think. One pair nested at Slimbridge in the spring but the chicks were predated. Hopefully one or two will survive next year. CJ xxDelete
I miss fog and mist. Having said that, my mum tells me she hasn't seen the sun in a week and maybe I am just a bit nostalgic for it is not nice to live in a the fog for such a long time. I barely know a sparrow from a blackbird but I do love to watch birds. It is so nice to read that your oldest boy has such a profound interest in birds and that you help him pursue his interests. I quite fancy being a child of yours! Have a lovely rest of the week. Christina xReplyDelete
Lovely photos CJ! I haven't been to Slimbridge before but grew up near Arundel (with the wildfowl trust reserve there that I used to enjoy visitingas a kid) and up here in Norfolk we're spoilt for nature reserves. Don't manage to get out as often as I'd like but we had a trip up to the coast at Cley recently, a birders paradise, your son would love it. We get breeding cranes in Norfolk too, so special to see them. I live in the city and we have a surprising amount of bird life here all year round but also passing over too. I've seen and heard pink footed geese before flying over our house (they have a nice soft 'wink wink' call) plus grey herons, and buzzards. Hoping to see some lovely waxwings this year. there was one near where I live that took up in a big old apple tree last year. Anyway, must stop waffling on! Oh yes, and we have breeding peregrines on Norwich Cathedral as well. Funny that it's so similar to where you are!ReplyDelete
Beautiful photos CJ! I really love the one above the swans. I love seeing your world through your lens.ReplyDelete
What a wonderful photos! I don't know much about birds although I find them beautiful. Nice post!ReplyDelete
Lovely photos, my friend! We have some Tundra swans that winter in a small lake not far from us -- I need to check and see if they are here yet as I want to get some photos. You sure did get some winners! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)ReplyDelete
I can just tell from your photos how magical the day was! My goodness that haze is gorgeous with the trees in the background! And what an outstanding experience for your boys! Wishing you a wonderful week friend! Stunning photos!!! Nicole xoxoReplyDelete
That soccer ball looks like it is grinning. LOLReplyDelete
That is so nice that biggest boy got his book signed. That will be something he will treasure.
Stunning photos; you have such talent. I haven't been to Slimbridge for years but your photos make me want to go back. I think it's so lovely that your eldest enjoys bird watching and what a treat to get his book signed by the author. xReplyDelete
I feel like I was there with you CJ, you paint such a good picture. It really is time I visited Slimbridge, it's not far away.ReplyDelete
Some beautiful photos. You are really setting the bar high.ReplyDelete
beautiful pictures! such lovely colours :) it's really misty around here as well, a bit eerie but also beautiful. Have a lovely weekReplyDelete
sounds like a truly wonderful day xReplyDelete
Wonderful photographs dear C.J., the mist is so lovely and the colours of the sunset are so beautiful.ReplyDelete
I love that fourth photo, absolutely stunning. It's wonderful that your son has such an interest in birds, Daniel was very similar when he was younger and could identify far more than we ever could. It must have been a thrill for him to get his book signed, something to treasure.ReplyDelete
Lovely photos of a great day.ReplyDelete
Beautiful! What a wonderful day :)ReplyDelete
Your pictures are stunning! I try and remember to not get caught up in capturing the moment with my camera (usually my phone). Most times I am so busy trying to take pictures that I miss out on it entirely. Thanks for sharing!ReplyDelete
What a lovely place to go. You have such wonderful old-fashioned excursions with your boys.ReplyDelete
A delightful post and wonderful pictures. That's the sort of afternoon I'd enjoy, birdwatching that is not mud slathering!ReplyDelete
It was sunny and warm here all day so I spent the morning plotting. Flighty xx
I do so enjoy your Slimbridge posts. Wish I lived nearer.ReplyDelete
Fantastic photos - we were the other way round on Sunday - weather wise I mean (I think we are a bit further north) so we started with beautiful clear blue skies which then clouded over. I love the misty mornings, and stunning sunrises and sunsets you see at this time of years.ReplyDelete
CJ - totally amazing photos in this post! You had your photography game face on that day! I think it is just wonderful that your son loves birding so much - something that isn't digital or instantaneous, that requires patience and quiet. I'm afraid not many boys are cut out for that these days.ReplyDelete
Gorgeous photos! It's years since we've been to Slimbridge. We don't live too far from the Newport Wetlands and tend to go there for the views out across the Severn Estuary. It isn't as well populated with birds as Slimbridge though. Looks like a lovely way to spend a Sunday. xxReplyDelete
Wow that looks a magical way of spending your Sunday. Your images are superb! Sarah xReplyDelete
Dear Santer, please can I have a copy of picture 4 to hang on my wall. And a wondrous sunset, or even a simple sight of the sun, because it seems not to like visiting North Wales just now.ReplyDelete
CJ, your photos here are just stunning. I think you captured both the mist and the sun beautifully. xReplyDelete