8th May 2017 – A birdy day

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

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2nd March 2017 – Lunch in the garden and beach walk

IMG_0219It 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

26th December 2016 – Boxing Day

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

25th September 2016 – Beach walk

IMG_20160925_150420359_HDRIt 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!)

16th August 2016 – Bike riding and body boarding

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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.IMG_20160816_163624628

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.IMG_20160816_162513129

Total wild time – 1 hour at the wetlands, about 3 hours on the beach.