Tag Archives: vacation

Birds of All Varieties So Let’s Combine Them

I have put together posts for various animals that we saw during our trip to Kenya and Tanzania.  We also saw lots of birds.  Most of them I had no idea what they were, but our guides did a great job of telling us what we were seeing.  Whether I can remember them all now, is a different story.  Fortunately, I think I keyworded them shortly after we returned so I do have a chance.  Rather than talk about the various different bird, here is a compilation of images of some of the ones we saw during our time away.

Jackdaws Searching for Snacks

We stopped for a small snack at Pembroke Lodge in Richmond Park after our walk.  We were heading to lunch later, but you don’t want your energy to drop so a cake of some sort is a necessity.  The tables around the café provided plenty of food for the local jackdaw population and they were very keen to get whatever fell from the plates of the customers.  With the sun on them, they looked really cool.  I didn’t know what they were at the time, but the grey heads were quite distinctive, and I did a search later on t identify them.  Funny to learn these things so long after I had lived in the UK.

Deer in the Royal Park

Richmond Park is famous for its deer.  You don’t have to go far in the park to come across some.  They seem pretty relaxed despite the presence of so many people nearby but I imagine it is a long time since anyone in the park was hunting them, so they don’t see us as a threat anymore.  As we went for a stroll, we came across a few groups of deer busy munching away.  Occasionally, they would look at us as we got closer but their lack of interest most of the time was obvious!

The Ferry to Gabriola

Take me to a place by the sea and I will be checking out the ferries.  BC Ferries provides the services in British Columbia and there is a short crossing between Nanaimo and Gabriola Island that has a pretty frequent service.  I understand the Island Class ferries are the ones that operate this service and they come into Nanaimo alongside the waterfront where we were walking after arriving. 

During the peak times, there were two ferries running back and forth but, in the evening, I assume the demand is lower and one of the ferries was moored up.  We got a good look at it as we came back from our dinner on a little ferry.  I think these ferries have been designed for incorporation of electrical propulsion in due course.

Richmond Park Scenery

I last visited Richmond Park in 1990 in my last year at university.  I went there with a couple of friends for a day out in the sun.  For some reason, I have not been back since.  Why we never went there, I do not know.  Nancy was quite perplexed to discover such an amazing park that she never got to see when we lived in the UK.  Definitely something we missed out on.

Anyway, be that as it may, we did make the time to have a trip to the park when we went up to Richmond during our UK visit so we could meet up with family and see some other parts of the area.  I really had no idea about the layout of the park.  It was way hillier than I remembered.  We drove through the park for a while and then found a spot to leave the car and take a stroll. 

It is a gorgeous place to wander.  We didn’t have a huge amount of time so weren’t going to walk a long way but we did have a nice stretch of the legs.  Plenty of deer to see in the park but they will get their own post.  Being spring, the trees were starting to look full.  While plenty of people were around, you felt like you were alone quite quickly.  We passed an enclosure that was designed to give the deer their own space.  They didn’t seem too interested in it and were quite comfortable everywhere else!  Our route back brought us to a garden as part of Pembroke Lodge.  This was also the spot with a café which was far more important.  Next time we are back, it would be good to explore the park more extensively.

Another Robin Comes Out to Play

We had the robins visiting the garden when we stayed in Stockbridge, but they were rather reticent about being around when we were there.  They tended to disappear whenever they realized we were watching them.  During our visit to Hinton Ampner, we came across a rather more bold member of the family.  This one was sitting in a hedge right next to us when I realized it was there.  I got a shot before it moved but it only repositioned to a perch close to us.  A brave little fella and very cute.

Family of Blackbirds Out for a Meal

A family of blackbirds was a regular sight in the front garden of the place we rented in Stockbridge.  They were happily finding whatever they could eat in the grass.  There appeared to be two parents with some youngsters in tow.  The chicks were now pretty fully grown and seemed to have their feathers, but they were less interested in finding food than they were in having their parents do the work.  I will let those of you with children make your own comments.  The chicks actually looked a little larger than their parents, so they are probably eating well.

A Shield Bug – Looks Like a Stinkbug

I was out in the garden of our place in Stockbridge and was surprised by how many ladybirds and flies I saw on the leaves.  Then I saw something a bit different.  I reminded me of the stink bugs we see in Washington.  According to Ian, who was in the yard shortly afterwards, it is a shield bug.  In all my years in the UK, I had never heard of or seen one of these.  Now I have.

Some Ted Lasso Tourism

On one of our days in the UK, we made a trip to Richmond.  It is over 30 years since I have spent time in Richmond, and it was nice to go there again.  A first for Nancy too.  We were having lunch with family but got there a little early to walk around.  One of the things we wanted to do was check out the area around Richmond Green.  This was a location for many of the scenes in the TV series, Ted Lasso.  It was on our way anyway, so we stopped to have a look around.

Looking like a tourist is never too appealing and I imagine plenty of people come by because of the show.  The pub that they feature apparently has fan memorabilia for the show’s imaginary team.  Some of the shops also have “Believe” signs above their doors.  TV does a good job of cutting together unrelated spaces, but you can easily recognize some of the places.  We did struggle to identify one or two other spots, though.  There is some demolition and construction underway now, so I wonder if that took out any bits that were previously used.