Sunday, 31 July 2016

Sunrock Guesthouse

Swimming pool & bar area.

Rooms flanking the pool.

I & other members of my family have been staying at this guesthouse in Kempton Park since 2002. We used to fly in to Johannesburg from Abu Dhabi & often stay here the night on our way out to our house in Sabie Park (which is a six hour drive away) & we always stayed here on our return, because the flight timings meant we had to be at the airport in the early morning.

Arthur & Ina, the owners.

The family who run the place have always been very welcoming & helpful to us & we have seen the place really grow & become successful over the last fourteen years. I always stay here on my comings & goings. If you would like to view their website:

Laughing Dove is a very common garden bird here.
Two species of Mousebird are found here
Speckled Mousebird.
Common in this area.
Always good to see.

A young Olive Thrush drinking.

Pin tailed Whydah
Red-headed Finch
This is a species I rarely see 
away from the highveld.
Common here but quite a localized species.
Aren't they just brilliant!
Feeding frenzy!

Cape Sparrow
Common here found alongside 
House Sparrow.
Female Cape Sparrow.

I am kicking my heels here waiting for my trip to Gabon on 3rd August. It is just not worth me driving all the way home to come back again in three days time. I would have liked to have spent another couple of days in Ewell, as it is Justin's birthday on 1st August, but had to fly out because of flight availability. I couldn't risk getting stuck in the UK & missing my trip.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

On yer bike!

I left Ewell on 22nd July. I caught the train up to Hull & cycled to Janet's house on Holderness Road. It was great to see her again & we enjoyed a lovely meal together on Hull Marina.

Janet & me!
Good fit girl?

The next day we had a wander around the Old Town & had lunch with Jen. It was nice to see her again & catch up on all the news.

Hull is the City of Culture in 2017!
The Moths are a reference to Amy Johnson
 (who came from Hull) & flew her plane Gypsy Moth
across the Atlantic Ocean.

That evening I met up with Jim & we enjoyed a nice jazz group at Hull Truck Theater.  We enjoyed a bit of a late night! It was great to see him again & we might plan a couple of trips together next year.
Looking good boy!

Yours truly & Martin
Plus Amanda of course!

Amanda with a female 
Polecat Ferret!
One of the many babies!

On 24th July I cycled to Beverley to stay with Martin & Amanda. We enjoyed a great evening in, talking & watching TV. They now have eighteen ferrets! What?

It's brilliant!
The pub is 100 m away!
The view from the observatory & pub.
Humber Estuary.

Lots of information here for visitors.

The huge new Heliogoland Trap at Kew.

Common Starling
I cycled to Kilnsea the next day to stay at the brand new Spurn Bird Observatory. And what a place it is! It is brilliant! So different from the old observatory & the many days I spent there when I was young. Had a great night in the pub with Mike Ibbotson, Lance, Johnny Mac & Paul Collins.  Great to see you guys again. It has been a while!

Bill, Rob, Gary & me at The Warren.

Looking north from The Warren
The breach of the peninsular.

Beacon Ponds
Kilnsea Wetlands
Gary, Rob & Bill.
Along the coast towards Easington.

Great Cormorant
One of at least 12 Little Egrets in the area.

Mute Swan
Pied Avocet
A young one: breeding in the area now.
Common Gull
A mixed flock of terns & Black headed Gulls.
Black head Gull, Sandwich & Common Terns

Common & Sandwich Tern

Little Gull
Rob Adams drove over to see me the next morning, But he had a little surprise for me in the forms of Bill & Gary who are great old friends from my Thorne days. I left Thorne over 43 years ago! Amazing to think really. We enjoyed a great day out doing a little birding a lot of talking & even a bit of drinking in the pub!

I left the next day & caught the train back down to Ewell. I arrived a little earlier than planned, as two friendly builders gave me & my bike a lift into Hull as it was pouring down with rain! Thanks guys, that was great! Hope to see you both again.