Friday, September 9, 2016

Week Ending 4 September 2016

This was a good week for birding for Miss 15 with three trips. At the start of the week we made a trip to my favourite estuary. Many of the waders which wintered elsewhere are starting to return but the highlight for us was undoubtedly a White-winged Black Tern in breeding plumage. This species is rare in these parts. While we've seen a couple before this was the first we'd seen in breeding plumage. It was pretty spectacular looking, although small and trickier to spot than we were anticipating.

Later in the week Miss 15 went out birding with friends who varied in age from more than 4 times her age to nearly 6 times her age! They went out to a spot where a large number of waders, including several rarer species had been seen earlier in the week. When they went very few waders were around and none of the rarer ones. Still it was a lovely day and Miss 15 did see a Gull-billed Tern - her first for the year.
These two terns were the highlight of the birding week.
The following day we went to our local estuary. It was Global Shorebird Day and birders all over the world were attempting to spot as many of the world's shorebirds as possible. Sadly we didn't have a lot of luck (and I started to feel sick so we cut out trip short) but it was another lovely day to be outdoors.

Miss 15 has  a surprising fondness for slapstick comedy. When I discovered a MOOC on slapstick movies I was pretty confident she'd be keen to add it to her schedule. It'll make a fun addition to an English course. We aren't actually doing any English this year but a previous course was a bit light because I 'stole' some Shakespeare from it to add to some other Shakespeare we did later. Having an entire Shakespeare course made sense and I was sure we'd fill the gap in the first English course somehow. This fits the bill nicely and it is uniquely her.

The week ended with a trampoline competition - a smaller one but the last before the National Champs at the end of the month. It was Miss 15's chance to compete her new routine which (finally) includes a half-out (a double somersault with a half turn for the uninitiated) She's taken forever to gain this skill. Training had been going well all week but on Friday everything turned bad - so bad her coach suggested she train on Saturday which is normally her off day! So she was pretty nervous before the competition as she had no idea whether she'd actually complete the routine. Thankfully she made it through and amazingly enough managed to win - albeit by a very small margin. Now three weeks of hard work to fine tune that routine before Nationals.

For me another highlight of the week was the spring-like weather. Whenever I step outside I'm delighted by the fragrance from my Daphne bush and I've also enjoyed watching the Monarch butterflies flit around. Some have even been laying eggs.

Signs of spring.

Linking to the Weekly Wrap-Up over at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

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