Half way through the year.   Leave a comment

Since we returned from Scotland things have been very busy and I have had little time for birding. I have managed to add two species to my year list however. On the 18th and 19th I visited a densely vegetated pond at Pennington in Hampshire to search for a Night Heron. On my first visit I failed completely and I thought this was going to happen on the evening of the 19th as well, but at 2100 I heard a short bark overhead and looked up in time to see the Night Heron flying out to the coastal marshes.

On the 22nd during strong south-westerlies I headed to Portland where I saw three Balearic Shearwater. This is a very rare species globally but during the summer a proportion of the population migrates to the English Channel where they can be seen off the Dorset coast in the right conditions.

These two species took my year list to 275, well on the way to the 300 I hope to see or hear in 2012 and only half way through the year (although the law of diminishing returns kicks in big time now).

The 13th was our third wedding anniversary but unfortunately was also the date when we heard of my mother’s death. My brother dealt with the arrangements but we stayed in touch throughout. We went to Derby for the funeral on the 27th calling in at Coventry to pick up Mum’s sister, Audrey. We stayed overnight in Derby and returned the following day, fortunately leaving just before the torrential downpours, which caused widespread flooding, hit the area.

Tomorrow I leave for an extended visit to New Guinea (again). This time I will be visiting a couple of areas in the east of the mainland plus the islands of New Ireland, Manus and the D’Entrecasteaux archipelago, so there won’t be any blog updates until the end of July.

The 17th was the anniversary of my retirement, this last year has been one of the best and most fulfilling in my life. It was also the anniversary of the blog, in the last year I have uploaded 219 posts, with over 1500 photos and had nearly 18,000 views from some 80 or so countries (top scores UK, USA, South Africa and Austria).

As soon as we got back from Scotland, Amber and Kara presented with me with this T-shirt for my birthday. They call me G3, as they already have two natural granddads, so step-granddad is granddad number 3.

After Mum’s funeral we gathered at a nearby hotel for a meal. Simon is with our Aunt Audrey, Mum’s younger sister from Coventry. Of her four siblings two have already passed away and the other is too infirm to travel.

My nieces Jennifer and Miriam. Miriam has now finished her GCSEs and is set to start four A level courses in the autumn. Jennifer has just had her 14th birthday and has selected her GCSE subjects.

My sister-in-law Viv and her brother Graham.

Graham and his wife Sally have three daughter’s (Miriam and Jennifer’s cousins) and each has had a child relatively recently. This is two year old Lauren.

…. and one year old Arlo…

… whilst Margaret holds her husband’s sister-in-law’s great nephew, two month old Archie. All three kids behaved extreamly well.

Posted June 30, 2012 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

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