Best of British



My mum is visiting/possibly staying forever (its a long story which doesn't need to be discussed here) Anyway, she is currently a rare but regular vagrant from eastern Australia.

Inevitably her annual migration brings with it numerous tales of fancy Australian birds (Kookaburras, Lorikeets and Brahminy Eagles to name but a few).  Now with all these exotic 'show off' birds flying about it can be difficult to compete. But, I had to try.  Stiff upper lip and all that.

So I took us to Westhay.  London Drove was looking rather resplendent in the bright sunshine.  My chest filled with British pride as my mum commented on how Australia lacked a diverse number of trees.  Not like good old Westhay with Oaks, Ashes and Pines all in full attendance.
As we wandered along the lush drove a large party of Long Tailed tits whistled noisily amongst the foliage.  My camera was focusing on every twig that ever existed before finally doing what it was supposed to do.

You can keep your garish parrots.  They make a right racket.  Not like these dainty fellows.
I then reminded my mum that we do have birds with Anglo- Australian relations.  These egrets for example are just as happy in a cold wet English bog as they are in a warm, tropical Australian creek.
Could be Australian.
After sunning ourselves along the track we walked up to the hide at the end.  Here it was pretty quiet but it all looked very pleasant.  A dragonfly caught my attention and I managed to just about get a flight shot.

Yes I know you probably get thousands of these in Aus.
Nearby the was a scream like that of a dying, asthmatic pig.  A Water rail was about. Now, this was an unexpected shot.  My mum had never seen one before.  He stood for just a moment in a nice patch of sun.  Showing himself off with true British pride.  Good man!

What a little rippa (pronounced in an Australian accent)
He even adopts many of the classic English flag colours.

But we were not quite done!

Another first for my mum.

A Bittern bottom

She loved this bird a lot.  Even though it was flying away and quickly crashed into some reeds. The sun was slowly setting and cast a beautiful golden light across the moors. I was feeling quite dewy eyed...

"What a lovely part of the world" she said.

I had to agree.  We do indeed have the best of British.

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