Monday, 30 March 2009

Anything for the weekend sir?.... 40th birthday, EDF semis and a spot of birding!!

Gloucester v Ospreys

Gloucester v Ospreys again!

Cardiff Blues practicing tackling!

Drake Scaup at Swithland Res

Grey Heron at Cossington Meadows

Well over the weekend I celebrated my 40th birthday, watched a bit of rugby and did some birding on the Sunday.
Firstly on the Friday night I spent a few good hours in The Orange Tree celebrating my birthday and would like to thank my friends for all the cards and presents I received.
On the Saturday in the morning I felt like death warmed up!! and was in two minds if I should go to the EDF semi finals in Coventry due to me feeling so ill.
But after have a bit of breakfast which didn't come straight back up I decided that I might be OK to go.
So in the afternoon I joined the good numbers of different supporters at the Ricoh Arena.
The first match of the day was Gloucester v Ospreys and I must admit it was a rubbish game, loads of handling errors, defences cancelling each other out, and a number of injuries to players who might be going on the Lions tour of South Africa. The only highlight of the game for me was seeing Shane Williams do a couple of great runs from his own half and evading most of Gloucester defence. The game ended disappointingly with Gloucester winning 17-0 against the Ospreys.
In contrast to the previous match, Northampton Saints v Cardiff Blues was much better game and at times some outstanding running rugby was seen.
I thought Leigh Halfpenny, Jamie Roberts and Gethin Jenkins were excellent with there tackling and running with the ball at the Northampton defence. Although it was a tight game, the Blues ran out comfortable winners at the end 11-5 to the Northampton Saints.

On the Sunday I did a bit of birding at my usual local patches in the Charnwood area and Soar Valley complex.
The first site I checked out was Swithland Reservoir and the summer plumaged Black-necked Grebe was still around but a little distant from the dam wall. A little bit closer was a pair of Scaup (male and female), so a good start to the day!! I took a few record shots of the pair.
Other noteworthy sightings included a calling Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and good numbers of Goldeneyes still around the reservoir.
Moving on to the Soar Valley complex, Wanlip Meadows was pretty quiet, so I drove over to Cossington Meadows, the final destination of the day.

At Cossington Meadows the sightings included 2 Little Egrets, a nice female Wheatear and small numbers of the usual spring waders. It was pleasing to see the Wheatear at the Plover meadow as this area is starting to become a regular spot for this species.
On the whole it wasn't too bad a day and it was pleasing to see more spring migrants had arrived at my local patch.
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