Adventures with Erik

LEG 1  of our adventures. It will be scenery and bear heavy as the birds did not really come out to play.  I'll be adding to the thread as we venture out.

We've been glamping in the Forest of Dean - I haven't been here for over 40 years and never got to properly explore - what a wonderful area - sadly no Goshawks or Crossbills - I met with local birders who were hoping to see them - I think they probably appeared 10 minutes after I moved on.

On the Friday we went to Tintern Abbey - there wasn't much about - a young swan and Jackdaws 

The serious stuff - We were in the Forest to take part in draughting tests and for me to judge as well.  So proud of my boy - he passed his Level 4 test - which is the highest level and was foot perfect the whole test 

After the serious stuff of the weekend it was time to explore 

First stop was up to the area of West Dean and a walk with a local 

It's hard to explain how wonderful it is to be able to walk for 2+ hours and not be on roads and dealing with traffic.  Tired, happy dog

Cin J

  • Tuesday was the day I nearly walked his legs off 

    New Fancy Lookout - what a view point - could see for miles 

    On to Symonds Yat Rock - I took my brave pills to get a photo or two - I hate heights - Bear thought it was great - we had breakfast at the cafe up there - very good sausage, bacon & egg bap - yes I shared

    we mooched around the woods for a bit then down to the river  - he was slightly miffed that he wasn't allowed in 

    that looks like one hell of a renovation project 

    Then it was back to base where I made a rookie error - I allowed the bear to follow his nose.  We went past the field of sheepies with their little damaged deer companion - it's very lame so I think probably a rescue it bumped noses with one of the ewes 

    If you look closely at the legs you may guess what the error was 

    He found a wild boar wallow - he's fascinated by them

    This is what the zoomies look like in a 93kg bear  - don't get in it's way 

    Had to be washed off and wasn't allowed in the pod for a while so we sat out and had a mug of well earned tea (me) and listen to the birds and were serenaded by our personal songster 

    Cin J

  • Next adventure was Mallards Pike - This looked more hopeful for birding but light was not on my side - could hear plenty of song - some I didn't recognise and there were small flocks of Siskin and finches but too high for me to get any decent photos, they were feeding in Alder (I think) and the Great Tits were being vocal.  Hazel is well in flower

    Told you it was bad 


    Into the woods

    Lesser Spotted Swamp Monster 

    Then we found 4 fabulous Mandarin drakes with 1 duck - there was a lot of posturing going on and one drake trying and failing to keep the others away.  We sat quietly and watched 

    Erik says this is very civilised 

    Our final day we went to RSPB Nagshead but we were both too tired to do more than a couple of miles - my knee was definitely not up for doing hills of any length 

    The sighting board was quite promising but there was *** all to be seen apart from the occasional blackbird and grey squiggle


    Here ends leg 1 - we are now in Shropshire and I will hopefully be meeting the small human bean that is the main reason for the long trip - I'm hopeful we will get out between granny duties 

    Cin J

  • Shame that you didn't get to see a Goshawk,but maybe it's a little early for the display flights. I have seen more at Symonds Yet than at New Fancy, plus the advantage of seeing Peregrine, raven and Buzzard there- and yes its a great little cafe.
  • Looks a lovely area Cin, and the Bear is always a pleasure to see :o)

    Woodpecker damage on the birdboxes, or just age?

    Thanks for sharing so far :o) If you fancy an urban trip me and Mrs PB were in Ludlow a few years ago, loved it :o)
  • Woodpecker damage. I met the wardens doing box cleaning and had a quick chat. They have put a different style of box in places that is reducing the predation

    Cin J

  • Oh wow C...looks like you and Eric are having a great time..,weather looks no too bad either!
    Scenery looks beautiful
    Never seen a "Dog Dip" before , very practical
    Just love the Mandarins...on my list to see
    Thanks for sharing ;-)
    Very much look forward to the next Leg

    (Pardon the Scottish Accent)

  • NT Shugborough was our spot yesterday - Lots of Corvids - rooks and 'daws and small flocks of things shouting in the reed beds alongside a water course - runs close to Cannock Chase so will be lots of interest about. We actually saw some birds.

    Lots of pairing up going on

    There is quite a bit of work being done on the house at the moment so what should be a magnificent wisteria is behind scaffolding - I would like to go back later in the year as there was still more to explore and we didn't get to the formal gardens 

    Cin J

  • Our latest adventures have taken us just north of the Dartford Tunnel and our bank holiday weekend was spent at an outdoor adventure centre doing dog water based activities.  The bear was a superstar and passed all his tests with flying colours - 

    Here he is taking a life ring to an overboard casualty 

    There was plenty of bird life about - it was lovely to wake up to cuckoo calling and got to spot one flying over the tree tops but the stars (apart from the dogs) were the Dragons and Damsels 

    Common Blue

    Large Red 

    Blue-tailed Damsel

    Broad-Bodied Chaser

    Dinning out on a gnat 

    Just one solitary swan

    Greylag family

    and a final photo of the boy - the clever photographer got my 'swimmers' eye view - this is what I see when we do our controlled swim 

    Cin J

  • Erik is such a star, love 'im!


     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • Oh my I nearly missed this post C!!!
    Well done Eric and well done you ...what a beautiful boy he is
    Looks like yous are having a great time!

    (Pardon the Scottish Accent)