Iím writing a lot here at the beginning of the trip, but I have some time now, while I wait for the appointed breakfast time, and rather than go out and wander around the town of Seaford, Iíll catch up with things here.
So, yesterday morning I had a lovely two hour walk in the countryside near my B&B in Cadnam, at the edge of the area called the New Forest, which doesnít seem so forest-y to me.† I picked up another 7 species for my trip list on that walk, including several lifers.† It was a very pleasant ramble, and I got back for my official breakfast at 8, having had some ham and cheese and bread before setting out on my walk.† I didnít want to faint from hunger, after all.
After breakfast and packing and loading, I retraced my steps from the walk, in the car, and took some pictures.† I saw another new species while doing that, too, Black-headed Gull.† A life list bird, and one I expect to see a lot of over here.† Handsome bird Ė see Photos01.
So, then I drove along the coast to my next destination, the town of Seaford, just east of Brighton.† The drive seemed interminable, even though it was only a couple or three hours.† I was constantly reminded of one of the reasons I love traveling in Australia so much Ė it is empty.† Here there are way, way too many people, too many cars, and the roads are too narrow and winding.† If I get through this trip without scraping the left side of the car on a wall or another car, Iíll be doing well.† I already inadvertently scraped it on a hedgerow, but at least it wasnít a wall.
Another odd thing, to me Ė in all that driving on minor roads, and all the congestion and people and cars, I never once passed a large supermarket, and only saw a couple of fast food places.† They obviously have supermarkets, but they must locate them in residential areas or something, not along main roads.† No shopping centers, either.† By noon I was getting hungry, but kept looking and looking for somewhere to pick up a quick bite.† I came upon the only McDonalds I saw all day, and was willing to settle for that, but I was past it before I saw where to turn in, and it wasnít worth trying to go back, with the traffic, etc.† Eventually, about 1:15, I passed a Wimpyís, which is a Brit hamburger chain, so I turned around and went back and had a burger and fries there.† As is typical, when I resumed my journey, within a mile I passed the only Subway sandwich place I saw all day.† I would have much rather had a Subway sandwich than my burger and fries, but that is how it goes sometimes.
I got to Seaford about 2, and located my next B&B, which is very near the town center.† I got checked in and was quite disappointed to learn that the promised wi-fi was out of order, so I wasnít going to be able to get online.† Hardship.† I walked around the town a bit and took care of some banking business I needed to do, then went on down the hill to the seafront.† I walked along the front to the end of the beach and the beginning of some cliffs, and I saw some birds.† There were a large number of Kittiwakes nesting and flying around.† The Kittiwake is a kind of small gull, and it was interesting to see their nesting sites on the faces of the sheer chalk cliffs.† See Photos01.† I also picked up Cormorant there, and Rock Pipit, which was a good find, I think. †I struggled a long time with the ID of the Rock Pipit, partly because one of my books indicated they arenít found along this particular bit of coast, but I was convinced that that is what they were.† Later, I saw in another of my books that there is a small population of them near here, and the rocky shore was appropriate for them, so I am convinced that is what they were.† The Cormorants and Rock Pipits were life list birds for me.
As I was walking back to the B&B, it started to rain.† I expect Iíll see a lot of rain on this trip.† I picked up a SIM card for my mobile phone, and when I get online, Iíll put some air time on it and I will have a UK phone and phone number, which will be handy.† I also stopped at a small supermarket/convenience store and was very pleased to find grilled chicken breast in 7 ounce (200 gram) packages.† If that is common over here, a lot of my dietary needs are going to be met.† I got some, to have for my dinner, along with more of my half-fat cheese and another of my pita breads.† I had thought I would go out for fish and chips, but the rain discouraged me, and I knew I was going to be pretty tired.
I picked up my computer at the B&B and went back to the library, which is only half a block away.† Earlier, they had told me that I could get online with my computer there, but it turned out that the woman was wrong, and I could only use their computer to access the internet.† So, I did that, and got caught up on email and Facebook and checking out the Marinerís score.† I wasnít going to be able to post any photos or ramblings from there, though.
I stayed in after that, and made an entry in my journal while I had some chicken breast, cheese, and pita bread, along with a couple of wee drams of Scotch.† As I expected, the alcohol hit me hard, in my jet-lagged state.† I was really sleepy by about 6:30 or 7, but I wanted to stay up later so I could get adjusted to the time change sooner.† I took my computer down to the dining room (my room here is as tiny as the one in Cadnam.† Iím typing this with the computer on the bed, while Iím perched on the little chair) and processed my pictures for the day.† Processing them consists of cropping them, resizing them, adjusting the contrast and saturation, smoothing and sharpening them, and saving them with descriptive names.† It takes me about 2 or 3 minutes per picture to do that, and I processed 21 of them for Photos01 in about an hour.† Now I need internet access to get them up to my website, along with this.
My back is very stiff.† The airplane seat didnít help it, driving didnít help it, and all the standing I do when birding definitely doesnít help it.† The very firm beds I have had each night also have contributed to the stiffness.† Perching on this chair and typing is also not doing it any good.† Thank God for ibuprofen.
My totals for yesterday were 15 additional species, of which 6 were lifers.† That brings my two day total to 28 species and 14 lifers.† Not a bad start, considering how little time I spent actually birding.† My next destination is Dungeness Spit, where I am signed up for a Birding Weekend.† It is at a B&B that is operated by birders, and I will have all my meals provided and two solid days of bird guiding Ė starting this afternoon and ending on Sunday at noon.† I expect I could see as many as 100 species on the weekend, although it might not be quite that high.† It will really give me a boost to my totals, though Ė one that wonít be matched again on the trip, for sure.† I have about two hours of driving to get there, and several places to stop along the way.† I also will look for somewhere with wi-fi access along the way, as this next place is the only one on the trip where I donít expect to have access from my room.
OK, that brings us up to Friday morning.† Iíll get my stuff packed up and see about getting some breakfast, and then hit the road.† Oh yes, I was in bed for about nine hours last night, although I was awake for a couple of hours during the night.† I got up at 6 this morning, so I am getting on schedule.