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Irish Surprise

Frank-with-Wren-8158, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

Winter at the Quinta is the time for maintenance and recuperation … and our holidays!
Last week we took a quick break in Ireland where Daniela’s always wanted to go; OK, this time of year isn’t the best time to see the Emerald Isle in all its glory, but we had a fun time nevertheless visiting Newgrange, (the oldest human structure), and the Tetrapod trackway, (the oldest footprints of any animal), as well as catching up with friends I hadn’t seen in over 40 years, (who must be the oldest friends I haven’t seen for a while as well!).

It was a week full of surprises – I’d told Daniela we were going to take a quick trip to Morocco, so it was a delight to see her face when we started queuing for a flight to Dublin instead of Marrakesh – but one of the nicest surprises, (apart from re-kindling old friendships of course), was this Wren landing on my shoulder … what made it even better was that Daniela had the camera in her hands and was able to get this photo. I’ve posted the picture on my birding blog as well, even if the chap wasn’t in Portugal.

Happy New Year to you all!

An easy way to get down-under?

Daniela and I are having the holiday of a lifetime next month and’re off to Australia for a few weeks. I’ve had the dream all my life and finally we’re going, complete with the new monster lens. Unfortunately it looks as if it’s going to be even more expensive than usual, with their economy booming and Europe’s going down the pan, so anything to keep the cost down is in order … which reminded me of this sign on the bridge over the River Piddle in Wareham where I grew up.
Now let me see … where did I put the spray paint?