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Sunday, 17 January 2016

Weekend Update!

My parents had a very kind mystery present arrive a few days ago, a convector heater – it was left on the step of their front porch! No message or delivery information, so no way of finding out where it came from and who to thank!!!! A huge thanks to who ever delivered this, much appreciated.

A few weeks ago my sister Vivien and I arranged to meet at my parents house, so that Vivien could take Mother out – I can't remember the last time she left the house! We arrived at 10am on Saturday. I had hoped that Mother would go to King's Lynn to buy some much needed clothes, but she refused to travel that far and opted for Hunstanton instead. I stayed at home to look after Father. I took advantageous of the fact that Mother had left the house and hoovered and had a general tidy up whilst they were gone. I was very pleased that Mother had had a mini break, but felt sad that I'm wasn't able to take her out myself, being the only daughter able to deal with the personal care side of looking after Father. Vivien and Mother returned with fish 'n' chips and I helped Father to eat his lunch – he had changed his mind twice this morning about what he wanted... firstly he requested two sausages and chips and then changed his mind and wanted cod and chips. Part way through his meal, he said "I can't taste the sausages yet?"!!! I reminded him of what he had finally requested! The afternoon just slipped away and before we knew it, darkness fell. Vivien left as she was worried about icy roads on the return journey. I stayed until 8pm. My Father thanked me and said 'I've had a nice day' – this made me feel quite sad, I hadn't done anything different for him than my Mother would have done. Drove home and watched the rest of 'The Voice'.

This morning it was really cold when I woke up, so snuggled back under the duvet for a while. I wanted to go birding, but had some important jobs to complete – because of this I didn't get out until after lunch. With limited time left before the day ended, I stayed local and went to Flitcham and hoped for another view of the Pallid Harrier. I was surprised at how many birders were here after all these weeks! I wasn't expecting a crowd! A few people had apparently seen the Pallid Harrier with a Hen Harrier only minutes before I turned up, but others said they were both Hen Harriers. I did see a picture on the back of someone's camera, but the harrier was distant and out of focus – I couldn't see even a hint of the neck collar, but again picture was not clear, so who knows! It did look orangy, but then so do some Hen Harriers! From the 5-bar gate I watched lots of Redwings in the field and another birder pointed out the Little Owl sitting in the middle of a hedge, almost camouflaged!

I left the crowd and walked along the up hill track past the greenhouses to the highest vantage point. The icy puddles crunched under my boots. On route I saw several Fieldfares, a few Blackbirds, Great and Blue Tits, Chaffinches and Goldfinches in the hedges. There were large numbers of Lapwings and Grey and Red-legged Partridges scattered from the fields. A skein of Pink-footed Geese flew towards The Wash. I also had fabulous views of a Barn Owl flying straight towards me along with four Roe Deer distantly, hares, rabbits and pheasants – a typical winter scene. I could view all the fields from up here! In fact I could see King's Lynn too – excellent views as the day came to a close. No sign of any harriers though. I headed back to my car – it was seriously cold now.

1 comment:

  1. "My Father thanked me and said 'I've had a nice day' – this made me feel quite sad".....
    Penny, it shouldn't... your Father only has his ears left to sense the world... it must have been so refreshing for him to hear a different voice and a different conversation.

    We have a raptor that I have only seen, in passing, sitting bolt upright in trees....
    it is certainly not one of our local buzzards... the jizz is all wrong... but there is also a lot of grey on the bird.
    I haven't the time to go and check properly, because I don't know where it might be. But everything about it says "Harrier"... I'd like to see it on the wing... which would give further pointers.
    However, I am now wondering if it is a juvenile male Hen Harrier in eclipse... with some of the adult feathers showing well.
    Can't find anything about it from books or t'interweb.
    The adult male and female are also around... we've had both quartering the fields adjoining ours... but this other one, whilst still in the same area, hasn't passed by.... well, not that we've seen anyway.

    Love your last paragraph... a "bootiful" word painting!
    Your Dad would be proud.