* Not one but two birding trips this week. First up Miss 16 and I travelled north to an estuary, one of my favourite birding spots since there is a wide variety of bird life in a relatively compact area. On this trip we waited until the tide was lower, before walking through sticky, goopy mud to the far end, which is a favourite hangout of two fairly rare but regular migrant waders. On this trip we couldn't make it all the way down since one of the creeks was too high for us to safely cross. We still managed to spot one of the species we were after - a Far Eastern Curlew, which we admire for it's impossibly long curved bill. Later in the week we went out with a friend for a full day's birding. A national twitchathon was happening - basically a competition to see who could spot the most species in 24 hours. We weren't competing - Miss 16 doesn't enjoy birding as an extreme or competitive pursuit. But it was a great excuse to go out anyway. We visited six sites in eight hours. The birds weren't cooperating - several species weren't to be found in locations where they normally are. But we had a great day regardless. Miss 16 managed to find (and point out to me since she's nice like that) a species I hadn't yet seen this year and we all got good views of the incredibly rare Cox's Sandpiper.
* Since she can never have too much bird-related we were pleased to discover a new David Attenborough bird documentary was being aired on tv this week. I don't think we've ever been disappointed with anything he's involved with.
* We took a trip into the centre of town to search for some new Christmas decorations. It's very disorientating since so many buildings have been demolished post earthquakes, a few new ones have been completed, and there have been several major changes to street layouts as well. Not to mention the ever present road closures and diversions to allow for infrastructure repair. I barely found my way around! Once I managed to get us to where we were going Miss 16 quickly settled on an owl . Like I said she can never have too much of anything bird related. Besides nothing says summer Christmas like a snowy owl!
* We started another movie for Miss 16's Movies as Literature course. This time it was A Man For All Seasons. I can remember reading the play and then seeing it performed many years ago as part of a high school English class. We'll try to watch it again and give Miss 16 a chance to tackle the questions in the coming week. I think she could answer the questions on the first viewing, but she prefers to watch once just for enjoyment. And the curriculum does recommend at least two viewings.
* I began work planning Miss 16's Animal Behaviour class. After some research I narrowed it down to a choice of two textbooks which I've borrowed from the library. Now she gets to decide which one she prefers and then she'll simply work through it over the course of the year. If there are major differences between the books in terms of content we'll use independent research to tackle the topics not covered in our book - time permitting of course.
* I stumbled across a site on how to tackle the Harvard Classics in just 15 minutes a day over a year. Spoiler - you read key extracts rather than everything in it's entirety! I'm toying with the idea of doing this with Miss 16 but still thinking about logistics especially when she is away from home. Would it be better to have her and I read separately (there is a Kindle book which would make this easier), wait until she returns and then read double until we are caught up, or just read when we are together and if it take more than a year then it takes more than a year? I guess I don't have to decide that right now.
* Miss 21 treated us to virtual field trips to Athens and to Canterbury, including the cathedral.
Linking to the Weekly Wrap-Up and Homeschool Highlights