Sunday, 15 November 2009

We Wish You A Merry Christmas etc

Julie, Yous Truely and Nigel

I note that some people in Weymouth already have their Christmas decorations up, which seems a bit early to me but each to their own. I have at least had a mini Xmas party at the Gurkha Restaurant last night, with Julie (my eldest daughter) and my son outlaw Nigel. They came bearing gifts, and I received a most novel Jimi Henchix T'-shirt, the official Hendrix 2010 calendar, a card and a 'How to Speak Estonian for Beginners' CD. I would hardly consider myself a 'beginner' as I already know how to say Ya, have a rest and twelve months, but I'll give it a go. Had initially thought of taking it along on the trip, but feel I'll either be too busy or too tired! They in return got a card and a piece of paper, which may prove profitable if they take it to the right bank. Nigel, Julie and Lee are also planning a Christmas Dinner when I get home, also coinciding with Ille's next visit in March.

Me and my Girl.
Me and my Girl under the mistletoe!

At home complete with T shirt, calendar and Estonian disc.

These were by no means the only presents I have received. Here you'll notice the perfectly fitting (when I loose 5Kgs) cheesecloth shirt plus leather bound and personally monogrammed English to Estonian dictionary. These are from the lovely Ille back in Tallinn.

I also received an e-mail today from Byron Palacios a young Ecuadorian birder I met some months ago at Radipole. Unfortunately, I foolishly omitted to take his details, at the time, or for that matter invite him to come on a birding acquaint of some local areas. Only a few weeks later I decided to embark on my next trip, with the thought of how helpful he may have been to me. Luckily, I bumped into him again, more or less at the same spot, and this time asked for advice over a pint. We met in Dorchester a couple of weeks ago and did just that, with the resulting e-mail making me think I should spend the whole 3 months in his homeland. The prospective bird list is enormous, while the diverse habitat and seemingly easy access around the country could result in a quite exceptional few days there. I should note that as things stand, excluding Galapagos, I must hold the world record for the shortest bird list in that country, a magnificent 14 species.

a few mammals from Alaska 2008

Dall's Sheep - a large percentage of lambs are said to loose their footing on the scree and perish

Fin Whale - the second largest mammal on earth

Moose - hopefully I'll get around to telling the story about eating both Elk and this species, Yum Yum.

Harbour Seals - plenty of these to see up there.