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A small ramekin of hand crafted wasabi nuts to be correct but it was The Sheppey. Before we get to that lets tell the tail of the day. It was a wonderfully sunny bank holiday Monday. The hottest since I was in shorts I believe. James was naturally early. Was this a good sign? It was defiantly above zero on the thermometer as he was sporting flip-flops and his Auntie Margarets sunglasses!
So we were off as usual. It's actually been quite a while what with holidays and weekends away and all that. Still it was good to be riding with the pack again. Aqueduct Crossing was looking resplendent in the late summer foliage. We entered Hamwall and what did I spot at VP2 but a Sparrow hawk in a tree. Nice start to the day don't you think?
These days are lazy for all concerned and that goes especially for the local wildlife. You don't really get your moneys Worth in these sunny days. Yes the sunshine is long but the activity is short. We stayed for a few hours with two Bitterns to keep us company
Plus a few more regular fellows.
VP1 is an odd sort of spot. We never seem to stay around there if at all. Very rarely see anything at all to be honest or is it just us? But today we did manage the Glossy Ibis. Aww poor thing. At one point there were three but don't know where his mates have gone. He's been flying solo for a while now. Maybe next year you'll find love fella. You had to stand on the benches at the front to see him but there he was all the same.
Now on to the Tor Hide. Lovely place when things move around. Today we had Coots and Little Grebes and that was about it.
Oh and a frog swimming along.
Another Little Grebe
Ah this takes me back to the old days of Twitter competition with @robinmmorrison of "thing and Tor"
Cycling on we went across the divide to the Scrape on Shapwick. Its a bit dry at the moment with mostly mud. I had read on Twitter that that jet setting Uber Twitcher Cliff (@01000011S) would be in town. Sure as eggs is scrambled for his hearty breakfast in the morning he was there hunched over his scope with those disgusting plastic shoes he has! He was taking it easy with the local fodder. He did point out a Greensand and a Greenshank feeding on the mud.
Spot the Green ones if you can!
We had a bit of a natter and left him to his business. We had to do the obligatory Osprey tick on Noahs. Unfortunately the Hide is being rebuilt at present so you were stuck on the path. That left you about half a mile from the thing on a stick.
It was literally a thing on a stick once you cropped in!
And then came the confession. If you are a follower of either myself (@EFRSblog) or James in particular (@Moorfeathers) you will be aware of the sad demise by drowning of James beloved Sony camera. Much sympathy was poured out by the twitter community. Benevolent funds were set up, charities were formed and wreathes of sympathy were sent. The black horses were ordered and a monumental mason offered his services for free. Ok there were a few "Oh dear thats very sad" tweets. However it transpired that yes he lost his camera in a ditch on the levels but the lens attached was mine! A lovely old Carl Zeiss 50mm f1.8 pancolar DDR. OK not the best of Zeiss's but still a lovely old manual metal beauty from the 70's. These things have character and style and solidity. My collection of Takumars are things of artistic beauty. It had survived all these years to be tossed into a ditch. Tragic to say the least. I am genuinely heart broken by it's loss.
I was however pleasantly rewarded with one of the last hobbies of the year. I did have to wait a bit for it to come back and James was a bit blasé about it as he had earlier in the week got one for himself.
After a rather delightful stop off at Eco friendly bites (@ecofriendlybite) which produced an excellent cup of Earl Grey for me and a huge mug of Hot Chocolate for James, HOT CHOCOLATE on the hottest August Bank holiday since dinosaurs wore knotted hankies on their heads!!!
Anyway we were fed and watered and off again down to the tranquil waters of Westhey. Not known for its exciting sightings on the whole we still fancied our chances. Down London Drove James didn't stand a chance with the logs over the mud. Bit of hurt pride and muddy knees later he was up and at 'em
First stop was that funny horse shoe hide I can never remember the name of. It was quiet, too quiet. While James kept watch I flicked over to the little side and clipped on the 100mm L macro lens. First time this year!
Bird crap for flash testing.
There wasn't a great deal of creepy crawlies around so I went for the arty death and decay we all know and love so much.
Three, two, one your back in the room. These Swans are the best your going to get from here.
Oh and this thing in the water that kept us scratching our heads for far too long.
Not a lot else to snap at.
This Hawker tested my (James) patience...
So what about those Swifts and packets of crisps? Well we did the only thing open to a couple of thirsty adventurers and stopped off at the Sheppy to debrief ourselves. While there two swifts flew passed as we crunched on our savoury snacks and ale. Perfect end don't you think?
The finale was the exquisite cycle from The Sheppy back to Glastonbury via Godney. In the evening sun it is possibly one of the most beautiful rides there is. Or is that just me? This chap was wandering up on high over me as well.
Meanwhile my (James) cycle home included a Buzzard doing a tightrope walk...