Setting Off From Sandwell valley

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Royal Tunbridge Wells 30th January 2010 A rest day!

Well still went birding as the grounds of my B & B are beautiful and the weather is the best yet. Very cold but no cloud and any wind seems to be not in the valleys. 4 fallow deer and 6 buzzard were the reward for an early walk in the frost. The B & B - Stone Cross, nr Ashurst, an old farmhouse with timber beams everywhere and a substantial breakfast. £35 a night well spent.

Mind you yesterday, after birding at Tudeley Woods RSPB reserve, the cycle to the B & B was tough as snow fell and I then took a wrong road down a very steep hill to Groombridge instead of Stone Cross. Having been given directions I still got lost and an attempt to ask for directions in the dark, at a house on a small country lane, was greeted with all the house lights being turned off and no answer! I'm sorry if I frightened someone!

Now I'm in the library in Royal Tunbridge Weels having bought a ook about Birders [Tale of a Tribe] by Mark Cocker from the Oxfam bookshop here. I needed a book and this is perfect. can't wait to get back to the BB and read it.

How does one get to book a youth hostel online? I've just spent an hour trying to do so and it just keeps going round and around.

Yesterday went to Tudeley Woods RSPB reserve and met Matthew, the assistant warden and Sarah Cobell, an enthusiastic volunteer with the look of Diane Keaton about her.

Very few birds around; the cold weather perhaps having moved them on or maybe they were flocked up in areas that I didn't explore. Did see a male sparrowhawk and a treecreeper. The latter makes it 121 for the year list. Otherwise a 4 mile walk around all areas of the reserve gave very few birds. Mind you I love trees and there's enough here for anyone.

Was photographed by the Kent Courier newspaper and I only hope that the photo with Matthew and Sarah, as well as me is the one chosen for the paper.

Tomorrow - Broadwater Warren RSPB reserve and then on to see a friend who i haven't seen for 20 years. Looking forward to both. [oh and Villa have just scored 2 goals in 4 minutes against Fulham - life at the moment is GOOD!]