Sunday, 29 March 2009

Silence of the lamb

The Urban Birder in the country with Larry the lamb
Saturday started with a crushing defeat on the football pitch. We wont talk scores - let's just say that I had to scoop the ball from out of the back of the net rather too many times than I would have liked.

I skipped breakfast with lads (was too depressed anyway) and after a shower, journeyed to Harpenden, Herts to attend and speak at the Herts Bird Club Annual Conference. I was on last and gave a talk ostensibly about urban birding but entitled 'The Day I Fell In Love'. I basically spoke about some of my favourite world 'local' patches The Scrubs, Ballona Wetlands in Los Angeles and Cape Clear, Co Cork, Eire. The talk went down well and I finished it by playing my The One Show Manchester Peregrine piece. I received two complimentary emails on my crackberry from attendees before I had even arrived home.

This morning I arose early and drove up to Top Lodge, Fineshade Woods to research for an article in the RSPB Birds magazine. I was well looked after hanging out with some RSPB folk. I attended a walk around the forest with a Forestry Commission Officer and around 30 people, some of whom with small kids. Due to the noise etc dipped on Adder but saw plenty of Red Kite, Buzzard and briefly saw 2 Raven.

After Sunday lunch at a quaint pub in an even quainter village called Duddington, I returned to Top Lodge partake in feeding the lambs on the adjoining farm - an activity normally reserved for the kiddies. I must say that the lambs were CUTE!! They were like little hooved puppies that readily allowed you to pick them up to feed them. I'm so glad that I didn't have lamb for lunch!

After my soft and squidgy moment with the lambs I was taken to the watchpoint hide (that overlooked a clearing and had feeders right outside the windows). Aside from an overflying Buzzard I was lucky enough to glimpse a close up Willow Tit - my first in ages.


holdingmoments said...

Good weekend then :)
I think lambs bring out the 'aaawww' in everyone.

Wild Freckle said...

Sounds like the ideal weekend - apart from the footie score! cant you get the goalposts moved LOL! Saw our first baby lamb on Mull aaah - think I've have a cheese sandwich for lunch

1976_bob said...

Talking of Red Kites... I saw one over Kilburn High Road last week being mobbed by a crow. I was amazed but being an east Londoner I might be missing out on a regular sighting... anyone else have experience of urban kites?

The Urban Birder said...

Hey Keith,

Urban Red Kites over London are becoming a much more regular thing with many birds noted overhead from a multitude of sites.

I saw my first in 1990 flying over Kensal Green rooftops. Despite birds being regularly seen nearby The Scrubs at sites like Regents Park and the London Wetland Centre - I've yet to see them pass over my patch.