In Their Element

In steady, heavy, rain this morning Jackie drove us to New Milton to collect my cleaning; to Ferndene Farm Shop for three bags of compost; and to Milford on Sea Pharmacy for a repeat prescription.

Now we were out, where could we visit next for a photoshoot but to Keyhaven in search of waterfowl?

Watched by a raindrop coated black-headed gull;

rapidly turning and darting, lifting heavily paddled feet in its stride, an egret was fishing for breakfast in the harbour.

Alongside the reed beds across the road a cormorant (?) would occasionally disappear beneath the surface, darting for its own sustenance.

Raindrops also glistened from mallards’ waterproofs.

Saltgrass Lane takes us from the harbour area to the salt flats beside Hurst spit. There is no speed limit on this road which is too narrow to permit parking at any time.

This is not a lane in which you would wish to meet an oncoming vehicle, such as this one which reversed some distance before reaching a passing space.

Active gulls and swans flapped, stretched, and flew across the flats;

another egret enjoyed successful fishing.

Fortunately, unusually, it was not raining in Manchester. I was therefore able to listen to the men’s Cricket World Cup match between England and Afghanistan at Old Trafford.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s Cumberland and caramelised onion sausages braised in red wine; creamy mashed medley of potato, swede and butternut squash; crunchy broccoli and cauliflower; and tender runner beans. I finished the Galodoro while the Culinary Queen drank Blue Moon.

52 thoughts on “In Their Element

  1. Egrets are common here, yet Iโ€™d never seen one before we moved to Florida. Theyโ€™re among my favorites. And honestly, if Jackie ever wants to move in with me and take on the cooking duties, she is welcome to come. Iโ€™ll let her have the big bedroom with the walk in shower.

  2. I am sorry I have been away again, Derrick and Jackie. I am pleased to see your world looks just as lush, green and full of life as when I last visited. I love your egret photo series!

    Rain is becoming scare here now, although we are having quite reasonable temperatures this week with intermittent cloud cover.

  3. Love the waterfowl photos! You make a rainy day into a gift. And Jackieโ€™s Cumberland and caramelised onion sausages braised in red wine sounds amazing! Hugs to the Culinary Queen!

  4. The car makers should take inspiration from those waterproofed, winged creatures and equip the vehicles with suitable limbs for negotiating the narrowest of lanes. The birds look good, and so does the car (I have a weakness for shiny red ones!).

  5. It might have been a foul weather day for some human-beans, but the waterfowl ARE in their element! Beautiful photos, Derrick!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I love watching all of those water birds! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Wow, that road is narrow! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ
    Your meals sounds delicious! My hat’s off to Chef Jackie!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    HUGS!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Your photographs drew me in I felt I was there with you on that tour. I had to smile at the narrow lane, we too have plenty of those but I wonder what prompted the council to paint the double yellows on that one, who in their right mind would even attempt to block the lane by parking there?

    I’m glad it stayed fine in Manchester for the cricket, we also had a lovely sunny day here in Yorkshire, the first in quite a while. Today though, we are back to the rain once more! โ˜”๏ธ

      • On a main road close by, the limit on one small section was changed to thirty following the death of a young girl.
        My own lane is very narrow and bendy in places, the no limit was ridiculous it was take your life in your hands every time we attempted to go out, (no deaths) but after a campaign by residents and supported by the Parish Council it was eventually changed to thirty. It slows down some traffic but many using it as a shortcut still speed around the bends!

  7. Lovely shots of the Egrets, and well done on catching the catcher catching his dinner, although i dare say he would be envious of yours – as am I! ๐Ÿ™‚ The second one looks so very elegant with his fine head plumes and breeding feathers on full display.

    Yup – definitely cormorants, possibly a ‘little black’? If the cormorants ‘dart’ for their dinner to darters ‘cormorant’ for theirs, I wonder?? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Hopefully Summer will soon exert itself a little more and give you better weather and warmer conditions, preferably in time for Australia to do well in the final! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. The black and white photos are stunning, but then as I scrolled on, I also thought the color ones were wonderful, too–I like the swan stretching its neck and the big egret photo.
    I laughed at the comments above about having Jackie move in to cook. I’ll pass on the sausages, but I’d happily eat the side dishes, along with your wine, Derrick. (Though not just now because I’m about to have breakfast.) ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Water birds always look perfectly at home in rainy conditions, and your photos capture them well. Most of our one-lane traffic is due to road construction. Your country lane is far more enticing, even if a little backing up is required from time to time.

  10. The birds all look totally happy to me, despite all that wet rain coming down. I think we humans are the only ones who ever complain about free water. We’re such an odd specie…

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