The good stuff was two birthdays, with my youngest two now both being officially a year older. Celebrations were pretty low key, but cake (for one and chocolate mousse for the other ) is always good! There was also the end of year displays and prize giving at the gym - yet more cake! Miss 15 got to do some synchro with her best friend which pleased her. The friend will be in Miss 15's age group again next year (they are only together every second year) so they'll hopefully compete as a pair for the whole season.
Mr 18's team made the finals of their cricket championship. It's a two day game, with the second day scheduled for next weekend, weather permitting. It'll be his last game for this team. After the Christmas break he'll no longer be eligible for youth cricket so will need to find an adult team to join.
|Mr 18 running in to bowl|
We did manage a couple of very quick birding stops on the journey down- mainly just places where we were guaranteed to see something new for the year. Highlights were a toss up between a New Zealand Pipit (its a medium sized, fairly non-descript brown bird that we aren't very familiar with so being able to identify it without much difficulty was gratifying) and seeing a Yellow-Eyed Penguin come ashore. We've seen this before but this time we spotted the bird a fair distance from shore. It was porpoising and looked a lot like a dolphin except is was moving straight in to shore. Very cool.
Over the weekend Miss 15 and I took part in the annual summer wader count at a local lake. Lots of walking in hot, windy conditions. Some parts of the lake were really dry but in other parts we were trudging through really goopy, sticky mud. And, after all that our section didn't reveal a large variety of birds, or anything unusual. The migrant species I was hoping to see was in the section next to ours! So we might have to go back this week. and try to track it down.
|Miss 15 and a fellow birder walking through a barren section of the lake bed. At other times of the year all this is under water.|