Boing! (2)

Trip Start Jan 05, 2012
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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Well my first declaration of the start of Spring which was, oddly, at the start of Spring ended up looking a bit premature as we had had one of the wettest and most miserable Aprils on record. Still the gardens needed it, eh? More importantly there was an element of drought mitigation too. May didn't start much better and one day when I arrived in my office car park the thermometer was showing a paltry 3C and 30 minutes later I got a text from Julie to tell me that it was snowing in Wolverhampton.

That's all a distant memory. We've had a full week of good weather now with pretty much dawn to dusk sunshine and soaring temperatures. In some parts of the country it has been nearly as warm as Aberdeenshire was in February.

Another couple of hours in the garden first thing. If we keep this up, Julie's hedge will be under partial control sometime in 2015. Then it was off up the A41 to whitchurch where we tried the carvery lunch in The Raven pub which is just off the roundabout where the A41 joins the A49. It was pretty good and cheaper than the curry on Friday! A lot cheaper - and there wasn't any wood in it.

After lunch we were ready for a walk and headed down to the Whixall Moss NNR where there had been reports of Hobbies and Cuckoos and other bit and pieces, via a site just south of whitchurch were Quails had been calling yesterday. I've never heard a Quail in the UK, although ironically I have probably seen two and they are much more difficult to see than to hear and Julie hasn't seen or heard one ever.

Pretty much a failure as regards birds we wanted to see/hear at both sites. Whixall is a nice enough walk if you like remote and windswept (which I do) but the boggy areas were near enough bird free (Curlews and Black-headed Gulls). We fared a bit better in the woods and around the cultivated areas where there were plenty of warblers and butterflies.

Many years ago we both learned that if your going for a walk on a hot day it is a very good idea to take something to drink, and many years ago we both learned that we're not very good at learning lessons so after two hours of walking in direct sunlight at about 25C we'd had enough. We stopped at a pub in Wem for refreshments then went straight to the Beacon where we won the quiz despite being a man down, with Steve off in the Canary Isles or similar.
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