So a break from blogging about my highlights of my Patch , I thought I would write a piece on how my love for nature & my family have combined together .
Well before my 2 beautiful children were born me & my wife Caterina would love to go for walks out in the country or along the Broads , Nature Reserves or simply walking in the Park, so when George & Sophia came along it was only natural that we continued this on. Over the years we have pushed the Buggy over many Nature reserves, parks and national trusts places but as they are now both at school ( George 6 and Sophia 4yrs) I've now got them a note pad each and explorer kits and tried to get out at least one day of the weekend , somewhere outdoors and so far it's been the best thing ever !
We have made visits to Icksworth and Sheringham among other national trusts sites usually with friends or grandparents , where the children have gone "bug hunting " and of course daddy's favorite "some birdwatching " or simply climbing a tree.
|Family fun with my brother Mike & his family and grandparents|
We have gone to reserves like RSPB Strumpshaw Fen and Sculthorpe moor , both great for families . Thet also have great family friendly Bird hides and always a kids Bird spotting tick list on hand. Easter hunt at both these places were superb last year, as are there Halloween trials .
|Ticking off the birds seen at RSPB Strumpshaw fen|
|Sculthorpe Moor is very children friendly....and Buggy friendly!|
Another love of me & my wife is walking in the countryside and probably one of the places closet to us that we enjoy is High Ash Farm , near Stoke Holy cross. It's a great place to go to for a simple stroll and to enjoy the singing Sky larks over head or the feeding flocks of finches in the fields along with great mix of Trees and meadows to admire.
These places ive mentioned don't cost much and in the last example nothing at all !( donations are gratefully accepted of course).
|High Ash Farm-Kids just love the simple pleasure of running through a meadow or a path of Daisies|
So why do we do it or why do I recommend it ..? Well I can only speak for myself and our family but it's a sense of freedom you get when u can run through a field , look and smell the wild flowers , listen to the birds singing or wildfowl splashing In the water & of course in most cases hearing just the sound created from the wildlife surrounding you , without the sound of machines or noise from the towns & cities. I think there's nothing better to me then seeing my children exerting themselves stretching there legs running and laughing as they make there way through a field, or finding something new and then finding out what it is later through the use of books we have.... It's an education and as I've said before ... It's Free!
Ok it's sometimes hard as a parent to find time with busy life's we leed and of course as I'm finding out now George & Sophia are both at school , birthday partys seem to be happening every weekend ! But sometimes an hour or 2 is enough for the children and usually you don't have to walk/drive that far to find a Field, Meadow , Broad or Reserve .
Not long ago I got chatting to Mary walker recently while watching a local Ring Ouzel ( local twitch!) and she mentioned she had a Tawny Owl breeding in a box she put up. Before we knew it was in her garden and watching a resting adult bird outside on the box .
I knew I had to take my wife , George & Sophia here to see this beautiful ,not often seen nocturnal bird . I Arranged a date and got back a week later to see the young outside the box , it was amazing. The kids loved using daddy's Scope to view the bird and we're excited to try find the 3rd baby owl which had Branched into a nearby tree. (baby Owls are known as Owlets) .
|George and Sophia looking through the scope to see the Tawny Owls.|
|Owlets on the box entrance|
|We can see yeh hiding!|
George and Sophia spoke about it in the car and George was keen to write it in he's birding note book and of course he's little sister had to do the same !
Making notes , drawings of cutting out animals from the NWT or RSPB magazines is something they love too on a rainy day , it's all learning and helping them gain a love for nature .
|Writing, coloring in , making notes or simply cutting out pictures of there favorite Birds or animals .....its all learning and most importantly... its Fun!|
It's these moments that I personally will always remember and I like to think the children will too.
I printed up the pictures and George took them to school with some information written down about the Tawny owls and there breeding habits , and shared with the class. This was not only great fun but importantly Very Educational .
|Me and my beautiful daughter Sophia after I visited her school, talking about my passion for Birds.|
I was lucky enough to be asked to come into my Daughters school and speak about my Hobby Birdwatching. It was a superb experience as the children were so excited to share with me there love for Birds and Nature.
I really enjoyed every second of it and especially when we got to go outside and use the Binoculars & Scope that I had brought along with me. We managed to tick off plenty of different species over the 30 minute session outside and they were smiling the whole time as was I. My daughter felt very proud of me she told me after and enjoyed being my special little helper that day.......That warmed my heart I must say!
So there you go , a little bit about me and what I get up to on the weekends with my beautiful family when I'm not birdwatching at my patch, NWT Thorpe St Andrews Broad/marsh .
Hope this was a good read and maybe I'll do it again in a few years time , when the kids are a bit older ( goes so quick!) .
|Seal Watching on Norfolk Coast|
Anyway, as always.....