Saturday morning was the annual winter wader count at one of the local lakes. Miss 13 and I spent several hours driving and walking around our section of the lake hunting especially for waders, but also whatever else we could spot. An absolute highlight for us was seeing our first Australasian Bittern. These birds are secretive, well camouflaged and normally hard to spot. We had just driven to the end of a road where there was a patch of raupo - one of their favoured habitats. We glanced out the window before opening the door and there was one right at the edge of the raupo, just a couple of meters from the car. A minute later it flew further into the raupo and simply disappeared from view. Another highlight was spotting a flock of Redpolls. They're relatively common small songbirds so we're surprised not to have seen any this year up until now. No photos sadly.
The rest of the weekend was all about trampolining. Miss 13's club was hosting the South Island championships. On Saturday afternoon we went to watch the junior and senior international athletes, including one who has just won a spot at the Youth Olympics. Sunday was a full day there as Miss 13 had three events and I was marshalling the athletes all day. Standing on you feet all day attempting to keep groups of young athletes in the right order is tiring and challenging! Miss 13 had a good day though with two seconds and a third. Best of all she qualified for Nationals in the Double Mini event.
|Silver medals reflect light really badly!|
During the rest of the week Miss 13 was really busy, especially with her three MOOCs. All her hard work has paid off and she has caught up with the Ecosystems course (we started it a couple of weeks late) while staying up to date with the lectures, readings and discussions for the Literature of the English Country House. Best of all is the progress she's made on her Animal Behaviour course. She's caught up on all the lectures and made good progress on both the peer graded writing and field notes assignments. Along the way she has been learning heaps and gaining confidence in her ability to work at an advanced academic level in an area she's passionate about. I'm really impressed with the quality of the course - nothing flashy, but solid, interesting material that's well-presented. I'm learning a lot.
|A lot of this week's learning has looked like this.|
In other news Miss 19 is pleased to have finished her first semester exams and is now looking forward to a couple of week's break before getting stuck into the final semester of her undergrad degree. Mr 16 continues to be very busy with Scouting while managing (just) to fit his academic work into any spare chunks of time!
Linking up With Kris's Weekly Wrap-Up.