Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Farmoor to Rushey

It's been another fantastic day! Not only have we had full sun all day, but the scenery and wildlife have been pretty spectacular too.

This morning started off with me standing at the open side hatch drinking my coffee and listening to a cuckoo calling. It's a magical sound that somehow doesn't seem quite real, almost like someone was messing about pretending to be a cuckoo clock.

Not long after we set off we saw a barn owl hunting over the meadow. I've seen one before but that was early evening whereas this was 10.00 am. It must have a nest full of chicks to be hunting so early in the day. We were travelling very slowly and the river meandered around the meadow so all in all we must have watched it for a good 10 minutes.......spectacular. I just wished I'd managed to get a photograph of it.

We've seen plenty of our native Greylag Geese so far on the Thames and very few of those awful Canada Geese.

In amongst this flock was one white goose. There were also quite a few hybrid white/Greylag babies so someone's been a naughty boy........

These are the first cygnets I've seen so far this year. The parents were taking very good care of them as we went past.

We've been seeing plenty of military aircraft over the past couple of days presumably flying into and out of RAF Brize Norton. This transport plane came down quite low on it's approach.

I've been surprised how isolated this stretch of the Thames is. There are very few houses and most are small timber holiday cottages, but not these two which were next door to each other.

This one had an annex that looked like a pool/gym. It looked like a small hotel but is no doubt some rich person's des res.

We stopped for lunch outside the Rose Revived Inn at Newbridge with the intention of just having a beer followed by food on the boat. We've had so many awful pub lunches recently that I'd made the decision to not eat in a pub again for a long time but the Old Speckled Hen was in excellent condition and the food looked good too so I gave in. It was a good decision as my Stilton, Apple and Grape salad was perfect. We'll definitely be visiting again on the way back.

You can see from the tide mark on the tree just how high the river came in the recent floods.

Unfortunately the pub mooring wasn't particularly good and we had a difficult job getting Chico on and off the boat, so after lunch we carried on our journey.

There's a lot of tree felling being done at the moment. The smaller branches are being burnt

but the larger ones have been stacked up for seasoning for next year's fuel.

After me telling you yesterday that Roger was having a holiday from working the locks because they are all manned here on the Thames, we got to Shifford Lock only to find it on self-service.

This looks like he's day-dreaming about being at the ship's wheel of his super yacht.

Rushey Lock was also on self-service but they're not difficult to do, although you do have to remember to leave them empty after you've gone up.  We're now moored just around the bend from the lock on a small meadow with two "yoghurt pots" for company. Nice people who came rushing out as soon as we started trying to moor up, not to shoo us away but to take the rope and help us in. 

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