Counting Hobbies at Thursley Common National Nature Reserve

Bird watchers It's hard to imagine a nation with quirkier hobbies than the UK... That said, I saw a news piece once about a man in Belgium who dressed up and behaved as a penguin at weekends; but maybe that's more a comment on the news than hobbies. I digress, what I'm trying to say is that there seems to be something distinctly characteristic about many popular British pastimes. Continue reading Counting Hobbies at Thursley Common National Nature Reserve

Saltholme… a Home for Cool Owls

Saltholme rspb wetland centre Hot Cappuccino, warm cheese scone and some chocolate fingers. If only every walk could start that way! The RSPB Saltholme cafe is something to behold; with its vast Robocop visor-esque windows that allow people to sit down in the warm, eat, drink, watch nature and photograph all at the same time... I'm pretty sure this is my Dad's idea of heaven! However as a photographer, the cafe feels a little like two big blokes standing either side of you at a urinal... Intimidating lenses every direction you turn! Having plucked up enough courage to get my camera out of my bag (not in the sense of the previous euphemistic metaphor) and remove myself from the cosy warmth of the cafe, I joined Caroline and her family who had somehow got ahead of me. I say somehow, getting distracted and falling behind isn't an uncommon trait. Saltholme is a great place to take a walk. Obviously there's visitors who take their sport seriously, but everyone is friendly and it seems very good for families. We went for a short stroll really, rather than a walk. The conflicting landscapes where the industrial North meet the resilience of nature is humbling to witness and stirs up a range of responses. There really is a super abundance of wildlife. We were lucky enough to see a short eared owl on several occasions as we walked around the wetlands, which for me at least was pretty exciting! I really loved my visit Saltholme Wetland Centre, I think it's a fantastic introduction to wildlife walking and would recommend it to anyone. I'm certainly going back, but maybe with a bigger lens!