With Dad apparently trans-fixed by "Kate Humble Watch" (and he says it's the Red Kites and Goshawks!) there's been lots of focus round here on wild life. We have our own flying-schools of course, of baby sparrows and starlings, great tits and robins, but then Dad sees above the M2 on his way home the unmistake-able outline of a red kite.
Common now above the M4 and M40, West of London ("normal" but still very impressive) they have not yet officially made it down here to Kent. This one was flapping lazily westward (London Bound). They are a great success story in conversation. When Dad was small they were a great rarity, with only a few pairs breeding in central Wales, but now, 30-40 years later they are spreading fast across western England. It can be only a matter of time before they are as common over the North Downs, as they are over the Chilterns and Mendips.
I have my own wildlife, when 2 ticks attach themselves to the top of my head, exactly symetrically placed, just in front of my ears. So symetrical are they that Dad thinks first, as he tousles my hair, that they are some kind of whisker-base hair follicle. But, No, and they have to go. I bravely succumb to a Mum's tweezers based gentle but firm extraction (She insists that Dad douse the tweezers in boiling water afterwards, for some reason!). I do not even squeak.
Tonight, walking back from the allotments we meet up with Ellie in her front garden and have a nice sisterly chat. It's ages since we met. She already looks gorgeous (inevitably) and not satisfied with that she's off to the groomer tomorrow.
Have a great weekend.