As a special treat on Queen’s Birthday weekend, we went over to the Clive River & walked the track out to the sea. It was one of those brilliant days, starting with a crisp frost & burgeoning into clear blue skies & sunshine. The friends we went with generously provided an added incentive, of a thermos of tea & cake, when we reached the beach!

As we walked we looked out for birds, we didn’t manage 20 which was the record so far, but we did pretty well. We saw Pukeko, Skylarks, Swallows, Harrier Hawks, Kingfisher, Thrush (well we heard one), Pied Stilts, Spur Winged Plover, Heron-Blue Reef? Canada Geese,Black & White Swans, Little Pied Shag, Pied Shag & Black Shag, Red Billed Gulls & Black backed Gulls, Gannets & White Fronted Terns. If we’d seen the Spoonbills we would have made 20, but alas the tide was coming in, so there was not the right sort of dabbling conditions. Hopefully next time we’ll spot them. Will definitely take the binoculars next time, & now we’re thinking that a camera with a better zoom would be a good idea. It’s a slippery path, justification!

Here are a few photos to share with you.

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Although most of the gardens are looking extremely scruffy, there are still some little treasures to be spotted as we wander around. Geoff took these photos.

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The cider we started some weeks ago, failed to ferment properly & was still very sweet, too cold perhaps? Geoff added some commercial cider yeast & put a warming ring around one of the buckets & a pad under the other. The bucket lids have wine airlocks fitted & now they are blipping away merrily. Next year I think we shall put the yeast in when we have strained out the apple pulp.

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