Sunday, 9 April 2017

'I expect a view'

This week has been simply glorious, and unfortunately I've spent most of it indoors in meetings! However, there were a few notable exceptions.

After work on Monday, I managed to head off early, and was back in time for a lovely late-afternoon walk from mine along the Avon Valley Path - the air was alive with birdsong including a very vocal bullfinch. It's odd, but I've never really noticed them much until this year, when they seem to be everywhere! A beautiful bird to view, with its pink breast and black cap, and very insistent call.

Then, on Wednesday and Thursday, I was in a two-day management team meeting - ugh you might think, but no, this was held on Chesil Beach (or at least, in the lovely visitor centre there). For those who don't know, it's a long bank of shingle connecting the mainland at West Bay to the isle of Portland. It used to be thought to be a tombolo (a beach connecting an island) but my A Level geography has had to be updated as research has shown that it was once a barrier beach (isolated out i the channel) that has rolled backwards to join the land with Portland. Really fascinating. plus, it is home to a wealth of wildlife - little tern nest on the shingle, and the sheltered lagoon behind (the Fleet) is home to a variety of waders and wildfowl, as well as various rare plants found only in this unique habitat.

You get great views when driving up to Portland - subject to some Olympics cash - back towards the beach - on the beautiful sunny spring days we had, it looked like a tropical paradise, with the thermals off the ridge being caught by a kestrel nearly at head height. Bliss.

Then, yesterday I was walking along the Wilts and Berks Canal from Melksham to Seend in more glorious sunshine, marvelling at the reflections of the blackthorn blossom  and once again accompanied by the chiffchaffs, skylarks and other birds calling around us. Have we been lulled into a false sense of security in that this sort of weather might last? Well, i'm off work this week for a bit of local pottering, so you can pretty much bank of the weather breaking tomorrow - sorry everyone!

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