Towards the end of yesterday afternoon Giles collected me from home and drove me to the bird hide at Milford on Sea. It is his task to lock up the accessible public facility at 5 p.m. or dusk, whichever is earlier. We spent a happy hour in each other’s company as I benefitted from my friend’s avian knowledge.
Alongside the stilted structure bird feeders hang from trees. A couple of sleek, well-fed, rats crouched poised to scoop up spillage. Note the hind toes clinging to a fallen branch for purchase while tiny hands clutch the spoils.
In the distance, against the backdrop of holiday homes, a variety of gulls and swans skimmed over the stream reflecting the bordering reeds.
Groups of swans sought rest, relaxation, and sustenance on the soggy terrain.
A pair of mallards dozed among the tufts; nearby a Brent goose investigated dining options.
I had forgotten my specs, so relied upon Giles to spot and direct me to this godwit wading amongst the teal.
I have John Knifton to thank for my being able to identify the teal from the luminous green flashes on their sunlit plumage.
When it was time for us to depart, Giles scaled a wooden fence and went Wombling to gather rubbish blown into the bird sanctuary.
It is the best part of half a century since I last photographed my friend reflected upside down in his glass chessboard while we were playing a game in 1973.
Yesterday evening Jackie produced perfect roast chicken, potatoes, and parsnips; Yorkshire pudding; sage and onion stuffing; crunchy carrots and broccoli; and rich red cabbage.
Much of today was spent on culling photographs and putting this post together.
This evening we dined at The Royal Oak. We both enjoyed crisp battered haddock; chunky chips with intact peel; garden peas that, like lemmings, were dead set on diving off the plate and rolling off the table; and onion rings containing slices of onion rather than the usual mush. We shared a carafe of most potable Pino Grigio.