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Thursday, December 31, 2015

And the year ends.


And so to 2016......

The church list will continue to be slow.... I have 3 UK visits planned and I'm not visiting new places so a few waifs and strays will get picked up. Still I got the list to 831 this year but if I get beyond 840 I'll be in shock!

The bird list is equally pathetic. I tend to stay local and even that isn't as much as it should be......

I have 3 Foreign Holidays planned.
  • Verona and Florence
  • Madrid 
  • Lucca and Bologna

Two of these are  revisits but were planned as good bases for day trips to other cities.

The three UK holidays are:
  • a week split between South and North Devon (to be honest only way I can finish my Devon church list)
  • a week in the lake district (and I am going to have to try and nab all the churches I need - research opening times!!)
  • a week split between Cheshire and the Peak district.

Obviously the Devon trip will have very few places you haven't seen before but I might take a trip on a steam train and do the boat to Greenway again. I tend to go to South Devon mostly so the North Devon trip will be different. Indeed I've not been to North Devon since the Trust allowed internal photography........

National Trust properties will of course feature high on my list. Indeed the Cheshire trip came about as on twitter a National Trust property, Little Moreton Hall, asked when Mr Quacks would be visiting!!!! I kid you not.  So expect visits to Little Moreton Hall, Biddulph Grange Garden, Qaurry Bank, Speke Hall, Sizergh Castle, Gawthorpe Hall, Acorn Bank, Dunster Castle, Arlinton Court and Eyam Hall to appear a few of those I've never been to so that will be good.

Looking at the properties I wanted to get to this year I did pretty well, so fingers xed!

A happy new year to you all....!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Essex Villages

I headed out into the Essex countryside this morning for a walk around to Essex Villages Thaxted and Finchingfield.

First stop Thaxted.





I took this as it flew over the Church.....




And another one.....




uh another one!


The stroll to the windmill is minutes.... oh another one!



Yep another one! And there were others in a 10-15 minute period!!










Alas Thaxted has lost its tea room! 

So on to Finchingfield 
















One day I'll try the two tearooms in Finchingfield. A very pleasant walk around two lovely villages.

And tomorrow it's back to work..... 

Monday, December 28, 2015

A spot of birding throws up a patch tick.

Well the sun was shining so I wandered down for Rye Meads for a spot of birding......

This Redwing was a bit distant...... I  bet he's wondering if he should be here given the temperature.... Notice he's been ringed.


This chap has also been ringed. He seems to like the entrance to the Draper hide.



There was one Green Sandpiper


Lots of Lapwings which suddenly shot off!



A long the trails there was a finch flock which had a number of Greenfinches in it as well as an over wintering Chiffchaff.


No sign of Kingfishers at the Kingfisher hide but there was a Fox who annoyingly was camera shy.



As I strolled back I came across a couple of Goldcrest.

At the 5 bar gate near the draper hide there was a large Chaffinch flock dropping from the bushes down to the path. I know in the past week a Brambling has been seen but the chap there hadn't seen it and then it drops down on to the path. And so I got a patch tick! Nice one as well!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Boxing Day at Ickworth

And so that was Christmas.....

I took sir out yesterday and we went to Ickworth. It was blowy ;)













"it's blowing a gale..."







a Mince Pie Christmas.....



and after a few dodgy ones at Ickworth...... this was a corker!!












It was nice to get out!