Sunday, August 30, 2015

Week Ending 30 August 2015

A couple of exciting pieces of news this week. Well they are exciting to us, not necessarily anyone else!

* Mr 17 received the results of his first test ever - for his university economics paper. He did really, really well and as well as being pleased for him I'll admit to being relieved. Although he is bright  we didn't really think he had the right inclination or temperament for university studies. At home he put
in the bare minimum effort and I felt he often fudged his way through assignments, a strategy I knew was unlikely to work at university level. I did console myself with the fact that he would probably put in the required effort when the work counted. Mum grades clearly didn't count for him! However, I did have this fear that maybe I was just deluding myself! It's good to know I wasn't and if he does want to attend university next year he should do well.

* Miss 14 and I went birding. Our location was a reserve in the hills. We've gone there repeatedly over the past year or so, often in search of one uncommon species or another that had been reported in the area but all to no avail. Until this time. Cirl buntings are an introduced passerine but, unlike most, they are relatively uncommon. A pair had been reported a few days earlier so we staked out several likely looking spots. No luck. We opted to try one final area before heading home. I was scanning one area when I glanced down the bank to Miss 14 and saw her waving furiously at me. As I got close two birds flew away. She'd already had a good look at them and luckily for me we were able to track them for a while so I got good views of the male and at least a glance of the female as well. Very satisfying, especially since we haven't seen a new bird for our year list since June. It's only our fourth new life list bird for the year  - and the last of those was way back in March. Hopefully we'll have more success with our birding come spring when the migratory waders return. Every year a few rare species usually turn up, along with the more expected arrivals.

A male Cirl bunting courtesy of New Zealand Birds Online. Because of course we didn't manage to get a photo ourselves.

* Speaking of spring, it's nearly here which makes me happy. It's been a cold winter and I'm looking forward to a bit more warmth. When I step outside now I love the scent, as two of my favourite early spring flowers are in bloom. I need to pick a few and bring their lovely fragrance indoors.

* Miss 20 and Miss 14 made gingerbread men (and rabbits) at the weekend. We didn't have much of the correct icing to decorate with but they made do and had a good time anyway. The results are delicious.

* That evening they watched Insurgent together. Not really my type of film so I'm glad Miss 14 had someone to watch with her. Miss 20 is hoping to head overseas next year. Her sister will really miss her.

Linking up with Kris's Weekly Warp-Up.

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