Sometime earlier in the summer No 1 daughter asked - somewhat out of the blue - if we could go bird-watching somewhere. It's one of the pleasures of being a Dad that you can respond favourably to such requests, so we spent a happy afternoon at a local lake trying to find some birds. In truth, it was moulting season, so birds were not really in evidence. "Thats it," I thought, convinced that the avian desert would put her off the idea for ever. But happily not. Another request appeared in my texts.
This time we tried Caerlaverock - their website suggesting that there would be Whooper Swans and Barnacle Geese in decent numbers. And we weren't disappointed - except by the swans who were too busy doing swanny things out in the fields.
Went into the first hide - and just about the first bird we spotted other than a few shoveller ducks was a merlin - only my second ever. So sorry swans - not bothered that I didn't see you now.
We managed to track down a snipe - largely by dint of sheer persistence, No1 daughter got her first glimpse (it was a glimpse) of a great spotted woodpecker and was wooed by the rather quaint wheezing of the wigeon all over the reserve.
And the icing on the cake? The day finished with a fly past from a couple of thousand barnacles - much to the delight of both ourselves and the guy videoing from the hide, who'd been waiting three days for that particular shot. So to celebrate our (and his) success and patience here are some Barnacles - all the way from Spitzbergen especially for us.
Celebrate the diversity of birds around the world with a visit to Wild Bird Wednesday