E and I spent most of the day in the garden, but we popped out for a walk around Colyton with Bramble. There were Swifts screaming overhead, House Martins building new mud homes and Swallows wheeling about, making it feel summery. We passed a Heron on the river and noticed several fish in the water. As E played on the slide, a Sparrowhawk dashed past, being chased by little birds. It was then mobbed by a seagull and afterwards, by a Crow, before eventually being driven out of sight.
Later, when Izzy was at zumba, we went to Borrow Pit to watch a Mute Swan reaching its long neck to the bottom of the pond and pulling out strings of weed. We also visited the bird hide overlooking the estuary, where a kind man told me not to shush E (who has verbal diarrhoea and a total inability to whisper), happy that he was ‘starting young’ with birdwatching. There weren’t many birds to see, but E was excited about seeing another Heron and a couple of Egrets.
Total wild time – E at least 1 hour, Izzy 0 mins
Whilst Izzy and B had a daddy-daughter day in Exeter, E and I went to visit Grandmum. Later, we had a quick visit to the beach, to sit and eat ice lollies, whilst trying not to freeze ourselves. E played with his digger and dumper truck, whilst Izzy and I piled up pebbles.
Total wild time – about 40 mins
OK, so not really wild time, but we had a lovely trip on the bus to Seaton, where we played dinosaur crazy golf, visited the playground and cactus house, ate a picnic lunch and then had an ice-cream on the beach.
Total wild time – 2 hours
We had friends to stay, so after Izzy’s zumba show, we went to Coast, a cafe next to the beach in Seaton and the kids had a kit kat and milkshake. Not exactly wild, but the view was nice!
Total wild time – 0 mins
It was a gorgeous, sunny morning, so E and I ate our lunch in the garden, noticing the buds growing on the apple trees and a pair of Jackdaws sliding down the thatched roof of the house opposite.
After school, we dragged a reluctant Izzy out to the beach for a dog walk. The waves were crashing against the pebbles, as we practised Parkrun, by jogging along the promenade. We took the steep steps up the cliff to walk back through the park, then kept Izzy happy by buying her a drink and a Kitkat in Coast cafe.
Total wild time – just over 1 hour
Along with most of the other inhabitants of East Devon, we went to the beach for a walk and so Izzy could try out her new roller skates. It was unseasonably warm and the beach was packed (partly due to the hunt meet on the adjacent road). Some hardy people were having a dip in the sea in their bikinis, but we stayed dry.
Total wild time – about 1 hour
B and the kids kindly came along to support me as I took part in my first ever Parkrun along Seaton seafront. They sat and watched the waves whilst I ran 5km in the drizzle.
Total wild time – 45 mins
It was really noisy on the beach today with the waves crashing and dragging pebbles back into the sea. The dog chased bits of kelp that were carried by the wind, whilst E struck bits of driftwood together and Izzy collected ‘singing stones’.
Total wild time – 1 hour (I think, but can’t actually remember what time we arrived!)
The grasshoppers were singing at Seaton Wetlands this morning, as E on his scuttle-bug raced Izzy on her bike, whilst B held/rode the scooter for interchangeable wheelie action. Apart from seeing plenty of waterbirds, we rescued a hairy caterpillar, which was crossing the path at top speed, saw an Emperor Dragonfly skimming a pond alive with Whirligig Beetles and B and I had a close-up view of a Swallow feeding three hungry mouths (the kids had almost vanished out of view though at this point so I had to scurry after them). There were also three fish blowing bubbles in the pond by Reed Base and then to top it off, two miniature ponies from Munchkins on a lead rope walk, which we were kindly allowed to stroke.
Back in the garden, I suddenly realised that the kerfuffle in the corner was the dog harrassing a baby House Sparrow. It was clearly unable to fly and so we scooped it up in our sweep net and popped it onto the porch roof, next to its nest, with a cardboard box for shelter.
Late afternoon, we headed to Seaton Beach to try out Izzy’s early birthday present – a body board. Conditions were far from ideal – the waves were very choppy, but we had fun playing in the foamy water. We had a quick visit to the playground and the labyrinth, then we had a takeaway burger from Flipside, whilst watching the ocean.
Total wild time – 1 hour at the wetlands, about 3 hours on the beach.
Izzy and B went shore-fishing early in the morning and caught some Mackerel.
We had friends staying for the weekend, so we all went to Seaton Beach for a swim in the sea and an ice-cream. Then, we barbecued the Mackerel for dinner.
Total wild time – 2 hours