A short blog as I really have to go to bed but here are the edited highlights:
1. We've had a really wonderful few days away.
2. Birds seen for the first time this year are: stone curlews, great bustards (lifetime first - and you can find out more about the reintroduction of these fantastic birds to the UK at the Great Bustard Group), a wheatear, house martins, a mandarin, reed warblers, sedge warblers, Cetti's warbler (the loudest bird on the planet), a whitethroat, a red kite and a swift.
3. Longleat is marvellous - I held my first snake at the snake handling session - a corn snake which was absolutely beautiful and incredibly warm. I loved it. However I passed on the tarantula holding session - mainly by running screaming from the spider handler woman. Ah the shame ...
4. We heard our first cuckoos, and our first ever booming bittern (though we didn't see it).
5. At the Hawk Conservancy, we flew a Harris hawk (briefly) and held a barn owl and a tawny owl. Marvellous. I love birds of prey. They're the best.
7. My review of Simon Van Booy's short story collection, Love begins in winter, is up at Vulpes Libris.
8. I wrote 2 haikus and here they are:
glorious gaudy ceilings:
Longleat in the spring.
Eight swans drift over
startled cattle: air shimmers
an ancient magic.
Causes Anne Brooke Supports