I have not left the house for a few days – not coping very well right now. I dragged myself out to go and see the Ferruginous Duck on the Broadwater at Holme Bird Observatory. Warden, Sophie very kindly had it lined up in her scope for me! The Fudge Duck is a first for Holme, so its a good job I dragged myself out to get this on my Holme list – better late than never! It was late afternoon and the light wasn't brilliant, but good enough to see a chocolate brown duck amongst the many Wigeon, Teal, Mallard, Tufted Ducks and several Little Grebes – all in chorus as the bright pink sun set. There was also a Stonechat perched on the bramble bush behind the reeds.
I felt very sad as I stood here, thinking about Father, my family and a whole life time of memories. I walked across the dunes to the beach – the frosty sand crunched beneath my boots. I was hoping for solitude on the beach, but three yapping dogs spoilt the stillness, so changed my route and walked back to the car park through the pines. It was bitterly cold and frost blanketed the ground. Blackbirds and Robins were selecting their roosting spots as I headed back to my car. The Firs Road currently has a million pot holes in and needs to be driven along in first gear!!! Saw the silhouette of a Tawny Owl perched up along the Firs Road.
Went to visit Mother for a while and we both sat watching TV, both feeling down in the dumps and wondering how much longer Father would go on for. He is eating well I was told, but very sleepy and much weaker than he was. Lucy now has the 'Queen's cold' (as people are calling it) too and sounds dreadful. Mother still hasn't recovered fully from her cold virus, but considerably better than she was. I seem to have got away with that one – so far!