9th April 2017 – Lower Bruckland Nature Reserve

IMG_0333We explored Lower Bruckland Nature Reserve in the sunshine and it would have been peaceful without the kids! E shouted at the ducks, Izzy complained about wanting a drink, the scratchy grass, having tired legs… but that was all forgotten every time she spotted a butterfly. And there were Orange-tips, Peacocks, Speckled Woods and Brimstones fluttering about. We could hear a Tawny Owl hooting from somewhere nearby and I was very excited to see Swallows for the first time this year.

Total wild time – about 1.5 hours

6th April 2017 – Birdwatching for children and Seaton Hole

IMG_0318We had a lovely, sunshiny day, starting with an event at Seaton Wetlands called Birdwatching for Children. We didn’t see the Fox that E was desperate to spot, but we did see Oystercatchers, Herring Gulls, Moorhens and my personal highlight, a Common Sandpiper. Through the telescope we spied on nesting Herons and although E was a bit noisy and over-excited, both kids enjoyed themselves.

After Tesco, a picnic and playing in the playground, we went home to potter around the garden, before heading out again to the dentist. Then, when B finished work, we took Bramble for a walk at Seaton Hole. There was hardly anybody else about, the sea was blue and calm and it was all pretty idyllic.

Total wild time – 2 hours at least

31st March 2017 – No ducks

IMG_0297E was determined that we should feed the ducks today, so armed with a bag of peas, we headed to the river. Sadly, they were nowhere to be seen. We headed back up the river to Chantry Bridge, where we did find a couple of Mallards, but they were totally disinterested in our peas. E was very disappointed.

Total wild time – about 1 hour

27th February 2017 – Ducks

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I took E and Bramble for a walk around Colyton and was amazed when E correctly pointed out that there were no ‘mummy’ ducks hanging out on the river today. We were also happy to see a rainbow

IMG_0209Later, whilst Izzy was at zumba, I took E to the wetlands for a spin on his balance bike. He giggled hysterically as he careered along the tracks. We paused to gaze out at the Shelducks on Black Hole Marsh. The rain started to fall and by the time we were back at the car, E was complaining of freezing fingers.

Total wild time – about 1 hour 10 mins (E), Izzy 0 mins

23rd January 2017 – Ice-skating Mallards

IMG_0077 (1)E, my mum and I visited Borrow Pit whilst Izzy was at zumba and were amazed to find that it was almost entirely iced over. The Mallards skating around on the ice must have been very confused! There were geese flying and honking overhead, as well as thousands of gulls and other waders heading out to sea.

Total wild time – 35 mins (E), Izzy 0 mins

19th October 2016 – River paddling

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There was a chill in the air this morning, as well as a large number of noisy seagulls. I took E and the dog for a walk along the lanes around Colyton. We turned around when the way was blocked by a tractor flailing the hedgerows and parked the buggy by the gate to a field. We meandered our way along the river bank and paddled in the water in our wellies. A pair of Mallards was swimming and a Yellow Wagtail flew by. At Ham Bridge, we turned around and went home.

Total wild time – 1 hour 20 mins

12th October 2016 – A walk with friends

My friend and her little one came to visit today, so we took the dogs for a walk around Colyton. We watched the Mallards and single Black-headed Gull paddling around on the river and E chuckled over them putting their tails in the air as they dabbled for food. A Kingfisher flew past in a flash of electric turquoise and then my friend spotted a Heron in a field ditch on the opposite side of the road.

Total wild time – about 40 mins

6th October 2016 – Geocaching

It was our first attempt at geocaching and we hadn’t exactly figured out what we were doing, but we managed to find a little log book at a cache close to Colyton Church and added our names. Then, we tried to find another one by the green bridge. No joy, but we did enjoy counting the ducks, seeing the swimming Black-headed Gulls and a Kingfisher fly by.

Izzy took lots of photos on my phone of the flowers in the public garden.IMG_20161006_164306292

Total wild time – 1 hour 10 mins

19th July 2016 – Trip to Bicton Park

IMG_20160719_115120758The weather was perfect for Izzy’s preschool trip to Bicton Park – hot, sunny and with a lovely breeze. We had a fantastic time exploring the park, which was full of huge trees and inviting shade. The children played on the tractors and playground, then we went on the train, chugging past Moorhens and Mallards on the lake and the tallest tree in the pinetum. Then, we did a loop around the Rose, Italian and Mediterranean gardens, pausing at the Shell House to admire the many different types on display. There were dozens of Common Blue Damselflies in mating wheels over the moat and quite a few dragonflies (mostly Southern Hawkers, I think, but also a Common Darter) buzzing about. We also spotted Whirligig beetles spinning circles on the water surface. After a picnic, more playing and some whingeing about the lack of ice cream, we went back to the stream garden and chilled out there for a while. Unsurprisingly, E fell fast asleep on the coach home (sitting upright – I had to lean across the aisle to prop him up!).

Total Wild Time: 4 hours (although, admittedly, much of that was spent in the playground!)