Emily had stayed overnight, so I took her with me to meet her newest cousin - Rowan! We had to stop off, briefly at my Dad's place, to pick up a present before driving over to Goodnestone. Sarah and Berne looking a little jaded - lack of sleep does that to people, but they are coping admirably with their latest addition, plus a one year old daughter who's just discovering how much fun it is to be naughty! There's definitely some Wrathall in that one! We didn't stay too long - they had plans of their own; so we took a quick stroll down to the "big house" just to see what's about. Snowdrops were in bloom under the shaded fringes of the track side hedgerow and we discovered a little clump of crocuses in a secluded dell - Spring is surely just around the corner?
Out on the cricket pitch there were four gulls, one of which looked decidedly interesting! With Emily perched on my shoulders, I got to within 50m before the birds took flight. My suspicion confirmed as a ghostly translucent white-winger did a quick circuit above our heads before dropping back down onto the grass. A first winter Glaucous Gull - quite magnificent in the superb sunshine of a clear, crisp morning. It was an absolute brute of an individual, at least half as big again as the three accompanying Herring Gulls. No camera and no bins - it didn't matter. Any sighting as, unexpected as, this is what keeps me looking, keeps me getting outside when I should really be doing something more constructive around the bungalow? A Coal Tit in the church yard, as we got back to the car, meant that I'd added two more to the year list in little more than twenty minutes - utter bliss!