20 January 2008

2008 is up and running...

All of a sudden, 2008 has kicked into action for me. I’ve been to my first gig of the year - The Reasoning, at The Limelight Club, Crewe - I’ve been on my first birding trip of the year - Martin Mere in Lancashire, yesterday - and tonight I’m off to see The Reasoning again, this time at The Robin in Bilston. A little too much travelling in just four days but that’s the way it’s worked out!

The Reasoning.

The Reasoning gig on Thursday was without doubt the best I’ve seen them play so far. The set they played was made up of seven tracks off the Awakening album, another five “new” tracks plus a little bit of Billy Jean, by Michael Jackson, thrown in halfway through Chasing Rainbows. If you think that sounds a strange cover to do then you are probably right, but it worked great. The final encore track was an amazing cover of Deep Purple's Stormbringer.

The Reasoning - Billy Jean/Chasing Rainbows

The support band on Thursday was Mr So & So, a band I’d never seen or heard before. At the time, I didn’t really take to them but, looking back, I think that was more down to the fact that I’d had a terrible journey to the gig - lots of traffic, heavy rain and standing water on the roads - rather than their music. I’ve played some of their stuff again, a time or two since, and am starting to enjoy it. If nothing else, they got me in the right mood for The Reasoning!

Mr So & So.

Yesterday saw Lynda and I on our first birding trip of the year; we went to Martin Mere WWT reserve with the Derby RSPB Group. We should have been going to Slimbridge WWT but, due to the heavy rain and flooding in that part of the country, a change of venue was forced upon us. For me, this was by far the best choice - I love Martin Mere in winter!

The sight, and sound, of the thousands of geese and swans that over-winter around this reserve is one of the best wildlife spectacles this country has to offer, in my opinion. Add to that the chance of seeing owls, harriers and other birds of prey and you have the perfect day out. Just to make it even better; the rain didn’t arrive until we were back on the coach and about to set off for home.

Whooper Swans feeding near one of the hides.

Birds seen during the day included Whooper Swan, Pink-footed Goose, Barnacle Goose, Wigeon (Lynda’s favourite), Pintail, Hen Harrier (my favourite), Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Kestrel, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, Red-legged Partridge, Water Rail, Barn Owl, Little Owl, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Grey Wagtail and Brambling. In total, we saw 57 species.

Two Peregrine. (photo taken through my birding 'scope. These birds were a long way off!)

Lynda and I also took some time out to walk around the captive collection so that we could feed the Hawaiian Geese or Nene as they are known. These friendly little geese are always happy to come and take feed from your hand and will often come running to meet you as you approach.

Lynda with a Nene!

So, that’s the past few days. All that is left of the weekend is a trip down to Bilston to see The Reasoning again later this evening.

1 comment:

  1. Nice video of the swans. I still say Lynda's the bird whisperer. Sorry I haven't commented sooner but I'm glad you had an awesome weekend at the gig :o)