Fledglings!

Last Friday we came home from work to discover a tiny baby bird had made its way onto our lawn (they’ve been nesting in our roof awning) looking very dazed and confused. After an initial panic that the little one was sure to die, and some serious googling, I discovered that it wasn’t anything to panic about, and that some birds leave their nests up to a week before they can fly whilst they wait for their flying feathers to come in. Thanks RSPB. Further research told us that the babies were in fact Jackdaws, not crows as I’d initially assumed.

Fledgling 1Fledgling 6

Over the course of the weekend we found that there wasn’t just one fledgling making itself at home in our back garden, but two! We also learnt that bird parents are scary and possessive, we got dive bombed by the overprotective guys whilst trying to get into our back door and when putting the recycling out. Turns out mummy birds are pretty full on!

Fledgling 3Fledgling 5

I’ve spent most of my spare time this weekend watching the little guys, whose ridiculous old men faces can’t help but make me smile! They’ve since been named Peter and Fledgey. The little guys are still there today, and are definitely going to be missed when they, quite literally, fly the nest!

Fledgling 2Fledgling 4

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Playing Outdoors: Crook of Lune

We are so lucky to live where we do; we have beautiful countryside and riverside walks pretty much on our doorstep! During the last sunny spell of weather we decided take a wander alongside the River Lune through to Caton and the Crook of Lune. The weather was lovely, and it gave me another opportunity to test drive my beloved new Hunter wellies. For the record, these are the comfiest wellies I’ve ever owned (far more than the cheapo colourful jobs that saw me through many a muddy festival!) Whilst expensive, these were a birthday present from my parents and I know that I’ll definitely get their money’s worth out of them!

Crook Rebecca

The walk was lovely, very few people around (aside from some seriously rude cyclists!) and we were fortunate enough to see a heron hanging out on the weir waiting for passing fish. I tried my best to capture him but I think there’s still some work needed on the old nature photography front!

Crook Heron 1Crook Heron 2

Once we got to the Crook itself we wandered through the fields a little further beside the river. I managed to deal with the fields of sheep just fine, but the fields of cows were another matter! Cows are, and will probably always be, one of my biggest fears. Completely ridiculous for a 28 year old. I dealt with one field fine, with Jonny firmly between me and the cows, but the second was too much for my new found bravery to deal with. I am an actual wimp.

The walk home was equally beautiful and, thankfully, cow free! Although I was a little sad that the heron was nowhere to be seen when we passed the weir again. Fingers crossed he’s there next time we venture down.

Blackpool Dungeon

We spent the last Bank Holiday of May playing in Blackpool with our friends and their son. It was a lovely day, and we did everything that makes a seaside resort like Blackpool great; played on the beach, wandered along the front by the prom, played in the arcades and had a mooch around the shops that are full of the tack you only ever find at places like this! Fluorescent googly eyed donkey, anyone?

Blackpool.1

The highlight, however, was a trip around Blackpool dungeon. I was initially apprehensive, the last time I visited the dungeons in York I was genuinely terrified and wound myself up awfully about it. I was 23. This time was different though. When you’re accompanied by a 5 year old you simply have to man up. There was one section when he clambered onto my knee and the room was plunged into darkness. I felt a small hand grab mine tightly and realised that I was not allowed to be a wuss anymore, I wasn’t 5! After that I really enjoyed the experience, even the parts with freezing water being sprayed at you! If you get the chance this summer, I seriously recommend that you hunt down one of those 2 for 1 vouchers for cheaper entry (that seem to be EVERYWHERE) and get yourself there. Plus you get an incredibly flattering photo like this as a souvenir!

Blackpool.2

Playing Outdoors: Clougha Pike

If you had told me 10 years ago that I would spend a chunk of my weekend climbing a hill (and actually enjoying it) I’d have laughed in your face and, most probably, judged you heavily for not knowing me at all. Yet last Saturday I found myself scaling Clougha Pike with Jonny. The whole expedition only took us 2 1/2 hours but I definitely felt the burn the next day!

Clougha Summit

The weather managed to stay fine for us, which was lucky considering the incredibly boggy nature of a stretch of the ascent! We drove to Jubilee Tower, parked up and started our trek. Aside from a few disinterested sheep, we had the hillside to ourselves. During the course of the ascent I learnt two things; 1 – ALWAYS pack tissues on a walk (the prospect of a one-finger-to-the-side-of-the-nose nose blow just wasn’t cutting it for me!) and 2 – I am nowhere near as fit as I thought I was! Jonny assures me that my ‘walking fitness’ will improve with more practise, but I’m not sure if that’s a ruse to make me walk more or not!

Clougha Rebecca

We saw a range of wildlife, ranging from ringed plovers and partridges to caterpillars that resembled huge bushy eyebrows. I need some serious photography practise to get some good shots in future though, that or stick my gorilla pod in the rucksack to avoid wind-swept shaking attempts at capturing wandering birds.

Clougha Ringed PloverClougha Hairy Caterpillar

Just the thought of spending time walking, for pleasure, is something I seriously used to scoff at. Now I’m the proud (not so sure if I am proud of this yet) owner of an actual grown up waterproof, a wind proof padded jacket and walking boots. Not to mention the waterproof socks and buff I purchased after the walk. I am now one of those people I used to mock heavily. Part of me (and it’s a growing part) thinks this might not actually be a bad thing!