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Mogs Travels: June 2010

Mogs Travels

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Slimbridge WWT

On Monday LB & I took my father & M-i-L to the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust reserve at Slimbridge, Glos. The lovely warm, sunny weather was ideal for a day out & both we & the parents had a good time. We arrived with plenty of time for an excellent pub lunch at the Tudor Arms before entering the reserve. We bought some bird food on the way in & Dad really enjoyed feeding the swans. Unfortunately he fell over when he had to step back from an approaching bird which gave us all a scare. He grazed his elbow but a lady, with a toddler, provided some wet wipes to clean it and another in charge of a school party had some dressings. We patched him up and off he went again. Not bad for 91!

M-i-L was a bit wary of the swans but happy feeding the smaller birds. This pigeon was so tame it even allowed you to stroke its chest!

I tried some arty photos and think this one of water on a swan was the best of the bunch

My favourite bird of the day was this fluffy little moorhen chick. I just love the stubby wings, red bald spot on its head and HUGE feet!

There were lots more to see and it's a excellent place for a day out for both young and old. We found the many benches very handy for the parents to sit on and pace themselves as we wandered around. It was a real change for them & we both enjoyed it and felt good about giving them a good time.


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Monday, June 28, 2010

Silverstone 2

After enjoying the peace and quiet of the campsite, the wildlife and a shopping trip that involved the impulse buy of a fridge for the tent, the hoards arrived and the real business of the trip began-MotoGP weekend!

P & V arrived in despondent mood on Friday night . After a long drive they realised they'd forgotten their tickets just as they turned into the campsite. Oops! Poor P had to be up at thd crack of dawn on Saturday morning to drive back home to get them! Must say he looked knackered for the rest of the weekend! He returned in time for us to walk over to the circuit together for final qualifying. We were pleased to discover the Croft Tunnel which meant a relatively short walk to our seats rather than the long trek around the perimeter which we had expected. Our seats in the new stadium section gave an excellent view of an interesting bit of the track but were exposed to the biting northerly wind. We froze! So much for it being only 2 daysbefore midsummer! The biking was good and I had more practice with the 400 mm lens I'd hired. It seems ideal for this situation. We were glad to get back to the campsite and spent the evening in the bar warming up. We were too cold to consider cooking all the food filling our new fridge. Fortunately come Sunday the wind had dropped somewhat but I took an extra fleece to be on the safe side. Of course I ended up carrying it all day! All three races were excellent with a lot of overtaking, close racing and some spills. It was good to see Bradley Smith on the podium and the other two Brits Scott Redding and Danny Webb doing well.

Jorge ran away with the main race but there was quite a tussle going on between the half dozen riders behind him. The lunchtime flight display was pretty awesome too.
It was a good day, finished off with a BBQ back at the tents. We returned home on the Monday for a welcome 10 days before our next weekend trip.

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Silverstone Weekend

We've just had a great weekend at Silverstone for the MotoGP. We travelled up last Wednesday and camped at Whittlebury Park. This is a golf club and hotel that opens up a huge camping field for events happenning at Silverstone.It could have done with a few more showers but is otherwise a beautiful place to stay, nicelylandscaped and with a man made lake full of wildlife. All the water birds were busy rearing broods of chicks so I had a happy time taking bird photos. Here's a few to be going on with.


Great Crested Grebe

Greylag Geese

Greylag Goose & Brood

Bike photos to follow!


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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Wildlife on Sko

After just a few days at home it was back to Pembrokeshire for us to greet our next set of visitors. We have been friends with A & B for more years than I care to admit! They're the sort of guests where the host/guest relationship doesn't exist we just enjoy each others company. They arrived on Saturday morning and as the weather was indifferent we had a drive around the area showing them various points of interest. Our new picnic set proved a great success at the Castell Henllys, the reconstructed iron age hillfort. In particular, it was surprisingly nice to have a table cloth, albeit small, to spread on the picnic table! We also visited the lovely church at Nevern with its 9th century Celtic Cross which is gradually turning orange due to the lichen growing
on it.

On our way home we discovered Fishguard Fort. It's just a small ruin but in twenty years of visiting the area we had no idea of existence and came across it accidentally. Amazing! Back at the caravan we made the mistake of enjoying a good meal and wine & then additionally having a
sociable late night with more friends.

Now one of the main reasons for A & B's visit was to get the boat to Skomer Island to see the wildlife, and in particular, the puffins. Unfortunately the seas had been high and the winds strong so we thought the trip wouldn't be possible. Mistake! Sunday morning brought hangovers, no wind and a flat sea! It took a bit of an effort to get going but what a wonderful day we had! It's a magical place and I was pleased to get some good wildlife photos.

Razorbill having his chin scratched by his mate - looks like he's enjoying it!

Little owl sitting on a rock staring at the visitors going by.

And finally -The puffins were performing well!

So thanks to A & B for helping make it such a great weekend!

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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Broadhaven at it's Best!

We have spent all week enjoying the exceptionally wonderful weather here in Pembrokeshire. We can't remember when we had such a good hot sunny spell. It's been great for all the kids spending half term at the seaside and the beach has been full of activity, though this pic was taken when it was particularly quiet!

The surf was up earlier so all the kids were out on their body boards. The wildlife seemed to be enjoying the weather too as the rock pools were teeming. In particular we seem to have an epidemic of sea slugs. We sometimes see the odd one or two here but this week there were hundreds.

It's been a busy week as we've entertained a succession of visitors but today we took a trip to Cilgerran. It's a quiet little place with a small but interesting mediaeval castle on the banks of the River Teifi. The river was wonderfully peaceful and we were really pleased to see a kingfisher flying up and down it.

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