Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Wild Life and Wild Side –Tuesday 1st July

Last evening we were watching these Oyster catchers feeding in the shallows opposite our mooring. Really beautiful birds. A Barn Owl was quartering the field whilst we had dinner.

1 Oyster Catcher

The next thing we knew  was this hire boat with 10 lads on it came round the corner followed by a speed boat which was over taking it. The speed boat went the wrong side of the green maker buoy and bounced over the shallow sand bar. The lads decide to follow at full speed and ended up well and truly aground in a few inches of water. They  did not seem to know what to do so I gave them some ideas but it would not budge so I told them that the only thing to do was for them all to get off and push. They did this and it came off but the guy on the helm failed to stop the full reverse and left his crew scrambling to get aboard. A little bit of the Wild Side.

2 Lads problem

We left our mooring and as we passed Don and Judy we waved our good byes and hope to see them on our way back from Lechlade.


Just passed Pinkhill Lock we spotted the Barn Owl hunting for food and a local told us that it had a nest nearby with young and is a regular on this stretch. A little further on we saw an Egret and several Cormorants as well as a Red Kite. The area is a haven for bird life with the many lakes and reservoirs adjacent to the Thames.

3 Barn Owl

We motored on towards Bablock Hythe passing this caravan site which must have stretched for 3/4 of a mile along the river. It had lovely smart homes on it and lots of moored boats.


This is Jim’s spot on our travels. He settles himself down on the back deck with his life jacket on and goes to sleep in the sun.


Northmoor Lock where a new volunteer helped us through, doing everything exactly to the book as he was being observed as part of his training. I must say the locks are extremely well kept and have lovely gardens.IMG_4513

Newbridge  where we moored up just after the bridge on a nicely mowed field. We got the chairs out and enjoyed the sun whilst having morning coffee.


After lunch we went exploring following the River Windrush Path to Standlake Village. On route we passed this old Pillbox with a sign attached saying “Caution Bank Erosion Keep Out” A little late I would say. 


As we crossed the Windrush we looked down and saw some very large trout holding station in the shallows waiting for food. They did not see bothered by us on the bridge above them. The next minute a Kingfisher flew by and into its nest on the bank opposite.20140701_133605

Later on the walk as we went through the lakes on Standlake Common we came across this lovely field of Red Poppies.20140701_140947

Standlake is a long sprawling village with a couple of pubs, a post office and shop as well as a caravan site with leisure complex. It also has some lovely old cottages around the village green. Buses run every 2 hours to Witney and Abingdon.


During the evening this inflatable canoe paddled passed with two intrepid Australians aboard.


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