It’s not exactly in Parwich, but we do urge you when you are next in London with a few hours to kill, to consider visiting the London Wetlands Trust site in Barnes.
For a start you wouldn’t believe you were in London at all; it kept reminding us rather of the Norfolk Broads. Daughter Ruthie took us there for the day last Sunday – a wonderfully warm, sunny day, just perfect for strolling through the different areas and watching all the birds. As you can imagine, John was in his element, with his interest in birds and photography: his camera was almost red hot and even I got somewhat carried away with my little mobile phone camera…
The highlight of a lovely day was half an hour spent watching a heron as he eventually speared a fish. We were very close, but the heron was concentrating so intently he did not seem to notice, or mind. The scene was so gripping I completely forgot my camera, but fortunately John did not. He took a series of photographs over the thirty or so minutes we watched and waited, almost as patiently as the heron itself. Do have a look at the ‘Fish That Didn’t get Away’ in our Photo Gallery.
You will see how the heron ‘stalked’ the fish – the only movement being an almost imperceptible tautening of his long neck, until startlingly suddenly, he struck. Up he came out of the water with this largish fish, flapping and wriggling, speared between his clamped beaks. The heron then very patiently, without letting the fish wriggle away, managed to manoeuvre it round until it was lengthways on, headfirst.
With an enormous gulp he swallowed it, and it was a struggle to get the thing down. We watched as the outline of the large shape gradually went down his throat as the heron kept scooping gulps of water up in his beak, and swallowing as one might with a large pill that wouldn’t go down.
Douglas’s Barn is available to book for short breaks 3 or 4 nights between 2 and 20 May 2016. Bookings usually start on a Monday or a Friday but if you want a break that starts on a different day get in touch. We are very flexible with bookings.
There are some new attractions added to the list of treats available with the Premier Cottages special privileges card. Amongst them are Renishaw Hall, Thornbridge Hall Gardens (new discounts), Hassop Station Cafe, Village Green Cafe Eyam, Carsington Water Sports and Leisure, Hartington Cheese Shop.
There are still a few free dates at the end of March/April in both Tom’s and Douglas’s Barns. Short breaks, 3 or 4 nights, which are not normally available are on offer. Please look at availability and give me a call or book on line.