Another memorable dinner last night included haunch of venison and deep lemon tart, but even more memorable was Hugh's choice of wine broaching a couple of bottles of
Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou 2000. This terroir also provided my very first bottle of fine wine which was drunk in good company at the 'One Michelin *' restaurant 36 On the Quay in Emsworth, Hants. Today also had its magic moments as I was kindly chauffeured to
LONGHAM LAKES where the early morning sun (yes, you heard me, SUN) was burning off the remnants of mist.
While not a regular visitor here, there seemed to be an extraordinarily high number of MUTE SWANs, the final tally reaching 62.
Looking over the top of the mass of GREATER REED MACE the first 'target' of the day hove into view.
Having never recorded EGYPTIAN GOOSE in Dorset during the month of July this was considered a good record! Seen here with Mute Swans
and here with MALLARDs gives some idea of size.
This was about the closest point of approach, so at least a few images that are recognisable. In the hope of more to come the walk was continued until this
male REED BUNTING
was found almost performing a ballet
in pursuit of insects to feed young
in a nearby nest.
Despite the now very warm sunshine there was little in the way of Insect life so a SMALL SKIPPER was welcome, as were
first one COMMON TERN
and then there were c2.
Mute Swans were still buzzing around
while a bunch of HERRING GULLs and a single LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL loafed on a roof.
That's when the Egyptian Goose was re-located on an island at the other side of the lake,
a RABBIT put in a brief appearance and the next target was located 'miles away' across the water.
To my knowledge (female) MANDARIN is a scarce Duck in Dorset so no wonder my personal records only cover 3 month, none of which is July. Another 'tick' in that column but a great shame that it never got near enough for a photograph. While delving into the archive for this shot, it was worth
copying one of a male again for illustration.
On my way back to meet Janet for a lift home, I encountered the POOLE RADIO YACHT CLUB
on one of their annual outings. The images are self explanatory so I'll leave you with them.
In an effort to attain a 'hat trick' of Ticks, I joined the Dampney's on a visit to the local 'Pick Your Own' farm.
My first visit to such a place but Daryl and Cath seemed to be dab hands at it in the Strawberry Patch.
Hugh and Janet however headed directly to the Raspberry Canes returning with 3 punnets of fine looking fruits. All of this reminded me of many years ago when I would hitch-hike from Portland to Portsmouth when a member of the Royal Navy. On one such journey on a dark night I ventured into a Strawberry Field and nicked a berry. It was a pity the darkness masked the fact that there was a Slug attached, which seems to have put me off the idea up until now - best left at that I think?
This quaint cottage in the village of SOPLEY was every bit worth a photo, but whatever possesses the authorities to so badly place road signs in front of such a fine building????
and finally, a few intriguing images sent to me by Paul Harris showing how the South Koreans are changing rice production into works of art. In the first shot, farmers or artists are planting with far more precision than they might do ordinarily.
With the work completed there is time to stand back and watch the progression.