Pop goes the weasel

This morning we woke up to beautiful blue sky. Colin is off work sick, so I decided to seize the opportunity to go somewhere in the car. We quickly got ready (which isn’t actually that quick by the time everyone is appropriately dressed and I’ve packed the coats, hats, gloves, binoculars, camera, field guide, changing bag and pushchair) and off we went to Fremington Quay. We wandered along the quay, watching the many fishermen and spotting little egrets, oystercatchers, redshanks, mallards and gulls. Then we set off along the Tarka Trail, towards a nature reserve called Home Farm Marsh which we’ve never been to before.

We saw so many robins along the path! We also spotted a pair of song thrushes. I remember seeing them quite regularly as a child but sadly these were the first I’ve seen in years. When we got to the nature reserve, there were three sets of stiles and all the gates were padlocked. Not very pushchair friendly! I did consider leaving the pushchair in a hedge but the children weren’t keen on this idea. Then Esther fell down on her bottom into a very muddy puddle, so we decided to turn back.

On the way back, Aaron suddenly stopped and held up his hand for us to be quiet. He had heard rustling in the bank. A few moments later a weasel popped its head out! I’m really glad I took my long camera lens, as I was able to zoom in enough to get a couple of shots. They’re a bit blurry as it was a gloomy area, but I’m pleased to have captured it. After a few seconds it disappeared and then Tabitha caught a glimpse of it in another spot. This is only the second time we’ve seen a weasel in the wild, so it was very exciting!

We headed back towards the estuary and the children played underneath the old railway bridge for a while, throwing stones in the water. Esther thought this was great fun!

Despite my warnings, Aaron almost got stuck in the mud. Just look at the state of those boots!

By now Esther was feeling rather uncomfortable in her wet clothes, so it was time to return to the car.

Our nature walk didn’t quite turn out as I’d planned, but seeing the weasel definitely made up for it. Aaron listed it in his top three favourite nature spots, along with the kingfisher he saw recently! We’ll go back to explore the nature reserve another time, preferably with Colin and a sling!

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