Another Trip to Wiltshire
Doing my dutiful son bit today, saw the whole family travelling up to west Wiltshire to visit my elderly parents for a 'Christmas get-together'. So we were up early this morning and soon on the way up the A303. It got colder the further north-east we journeyed. A coffee-stop was enjoyed at the garden centre on the edge of Yeovil, before carrying on into Wiltshire to pick up some groceries for my parents en route. Eventually we managed to get through the diaboliocal traffic which seems to abound nowadays, and we duly arrived at the village of Westwood. Whilst chatting to my father in the lounge, I suddenly realised there was a male Blackcap sat in a tree the other side of the road!
After a hearty dinner (probably resulting in a few more Xmas pounds added on!) I dropped my wife, daughter and mother off to hit the shops in Trowbridge, excusing myself and fighting the excessive traffic over to Westbury Ponds for some birding. This is not the tranquil spot that it sounds! The area is totally criss-crossed by busy railway lines, and the ponds are dotted around Westbury Station, a very busy place indeed. The area also suffers from that run-down look, with much waste ground, litter and general shabby feel. However, where there's muck there's birds, and a potter about the general area resulted in a few Great Crested Grebes, Tufted Duck and Canada Geese, a couple of Pochard, a Grey Heron, 3 juvenile Mute Swans and many Coot and Moorhen. A Great Spotted Woodpecker flew over as well. Look back at my blog entries and you will see that I saw a Great Northern Diver here, back in November! I then retraced my car miles back to Trowbridge and drew up in the car park by Asdas, just outside the Shires shopping centre. It was busy with sales-shoppers, and I started to cringe, that well known phenomenon that overtakes most males when faced with shops and shoppers! I got out of the car and was amazed to see a Kingfisher fly over the entrance to the shopping mall, just over the heads of all those shoppers! Well, if the bird could fly literally in the face of all that humanity, then so could I. I swiftly (no pun intended) met up with 'my ladies' and even joined them for a browse round Asdas, even if it was only to peruse the beer shelves!