Friday, 21 March 2014

Awesome avian adventures - an avocet!

At the beginning of the week the boy and I took a trip to Titchfield Haven.  He was recovering from a miserable infection and not up to his normal Monday swimming and music makers, so we packed a picnic and went for some sling snooze birdwatching.  A scan of twitter told of the arrival of avocets at the reserve - oooooh, I love an avocet!

We were not disappointed; along with numerous other brilliant birdies including an enormous number of black-tailed godwits resplendent in their breeding plumage, was a colony avocets.  (Incidentally a "colony" is the correct collective noun for avocets - not as much fun as a "fling" of dunlin or a "parcel" of oystercatchers - see this link for more avian collective nouns.)  With their upturned beaks and long grey legs, these truly must be one of the most elegant of british birds.
A colony of avocets (picture from the BBC news website)
How could I fail to do a little avocet-inspired stitchery?  Here is my applique/free-motion embroidery effort...
An avocet wading through the water bending to feed in that characteristic sweeping motion with that wonderful upturned bill.

Titchfield Haven is fast becoming my favourite spotting spot; it is just perfect for a day out with a toddler.  There are lots of hides, which midweek are quiet enough to let the boy run around whilst I take a look out.  Perfect paths for toddling along, through read beds and woodland; then there is the beach for running off any remaining energy and picking out sticks and stones.  You could easily walk a pushchair around although we tend to stick with the sling.  
I've really loved getting the opportunity to do more birding since becoming a stay-at-home mum (still hate that phrase!).  It's true that unless he's having a sling snooze I can't really stand around for long looking at any particular bird, but he definitely enjoys the fresh air, the walks, the hides and he is forever pointing out "birrs"!

Kate x

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