Posted by: digibirder | July 6, 2008

Devon – part 4

Thursday 19th June:
Awoke to find a calm, still morning and the sun was shining. No damage had been done by the wind during the night, thankfully. After a shower and breakfast we headed into Kingsbridge to the post office to get the lens returned, but not before I had one last effort with it (the final three photos on part 1 – Jackdaw and Crow). During our wander round the shops, Keith decided to buy a pair of shoes and we also bought a few provisions and other items. On our return to the car we spotted a Little Egret in the estuary, quite close to where we were parked. We put the shopping in the car and got out the cameras to take some snaps. As we had just dropped the rental lens at the post office, these photos had to be taken with my Sigma 135-400mm lens, which I rested on the wall for more stability. I actually don’t think these are too bad, apart from the usual burn-out you get with white subjects.

We then headed back to the campsite, calling en-route into a local store where we needed to pick up some bread. As we were paying, Keith couldn’t find his wallet. We were hoping it had fallen out of his pocket into the car, but we turned everything out and couldn’t find it, so we had to hot-tail it back to Kingsbridge and retrace our steps, hoping that if it had fallen out of a pocket onto the street, someone would have handed it in somewhere. On the way back, Keith thought he remembered where he might have mislaid it, so I dropped him at the shop and carried on to find a parking place. A few moments later he arrived waving the wallet! The shop manager recognised him as soon as he walked into the shop, as he had checked inside for ID and noted Keith’s photo on his driving licence. What a relief that was!! We eventually arrived back on site where we had lunch and then relaxed and did some reading in the sunshine. I also managed some more photos of the regular Woodpigeon (taken with my Sigma 135-400mm), although there were not that many worth keeping.

As it was a lovely evening, after dinner (veg pasties warmed up in the Remoska, potatoes and fresh peas – it’s years since I’ve podded peas!) we went for a stroll down to the bridge at Slapton Ley and then along the shingle beach part way towards Torcross and then back via the path alongside the Ley.

Looking North towards the Upper Ley

South to the Lower Ley

From the beach path looking North towards Dartmouth

Taken from the road leading back towards Slapton village from the beach – the campsite is just behind the row of trees in the middle left of the photo

Friday 20th June:
We had intended to do a walk today, but the weather did not look too promising so we thought we would see what it was like a bit later in the day. After breakfast I managed to get some photos of a Song Thrush who came quite close to the tent. Out of 30 photos taken, the following were worth editing. So, I can get decent photos with the Sigma lens, but it appears I have to take twice as many in order to get a reasonable amount of keepers.

We decided to have another trip into Dartmouth to see if the Internet café was open so that we could check whether our salaries had been paid in. We also stocked up with food and drink and had a wander along the riverside looking at all the posh boats moored in the marina. How the other half live!

We went back to the site, intending to sit outside and relax. It had been spitting with rain on and off, but it appeared to be brightening up. Unfortunately the showers returned, so we had lunch and sat inside the tent reading and editing photos. And so the rain continued into the evening. For dinner we made a chilli in the Remoska served with rice, and had a nice red wine. We had intended to go into Kingsbridge to a music festival, but the rain and dampness put us off, so we continued to read inside the comfort of the tent, wrapped in blankets with the gas heater warming us through! It had turned rather cool.

Saturday 21st June:
The day dawned a little brighter, but there were threats of more showers. We went into Kingsbridge to post off the aforementioned sun canopy from our old tent, which we had sold a few days before we set off on holiday, and which we had brought with us in order to get it posted off as soon as the cheque cleared, which it did yesterday. I had advertised it complete with the tent, but someone only wanted the sun canopy, so we agreed to that. Hopefully, the tent will sell soon.

As we neared Kingsbridge, the clouds became heavier and more threatening, and there was quite a heavy drizzle by the time we parked the car. We walked down the main shopping street to the post office and got the canopy on its way, then purchased a few items of food before heading down to the quayside to the farmers’ market. Here we bought some lovely bread, some croissants, a quiche and some organic lamb shanks.

The rain continued on and off all morning, so we headed back to the site for lunch – croissants warmed up in the Remoska (it definitely lives up to its reputation of being quite versatile) and fresh filter coffee. Later in the afternoon we had a cream tea with some delicious scones purchased from a deli in Kingsbridge and strawberry jam and clotted cream. We had to sit in the tent, as it wasn’t very warm outside and the rain continued intermittently all afternoon. The Saturday paper kept us occupied for some time, along with other reading material we took with us.

The cream tea had filled us up, so we weren’t in any hurry for dinner, but an aperitif of vodka, elderflower cordial, lemon juice and soda water soon brought our appetite back. For dinner we had the quiche with a salad, also finishing off last night’s bottle of red wine. We then continued to sit and read and I edited some photos. The forecast was for more strong winds during the night, so we took down the sun canopy again, just in case. It wasn’t as cold in the evening as it had been previously, so we didn’t need the gas fire on, nor did we need to wrap up in blankets. In fact it was quite cosy in the tent, but the wind and rain continued to batter the canvas. I was starting to get rather fed up of the drizzle and the wind by this time, and hoped that we would get some more nice weather soon. Again, we gave the music festival a miss due to the horrid weather. In one of the few gaps in the rain, we dashed over to the shower block to have a wash, but we decided to leave the dinner pots until morning. It’s a good job, as we just arrived back at the tent to get ready for bed when the rain came on very heavy. We’d just climbed into bed when there were a couple of flashes of lightening! I must have been tired, as the storm didn’t keep me awake for very long.



  1. diet going well I see 😀

    I think my feelings with stabilised lens is that its not the optics just you get significantly more keepers.

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