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Golden Pheasant, Brownsea Island

No, not seen, but pretty definitely heard. Either that or some unexpected species was rasping, almost jay-like, in a way I’d never heard before. A rasping in the location, and only in that location, where the goldies are regularly reported.

So, I’m happy even though my CDs can’t confirm the noise. Double happy because Brownsea is such a superb spot to bird. For a start: no fucking dogs.

I’ll say that again. No fucking dogs. Jesus, what a relief! Truly, a nature reserve that actually bans them. And more, one where the ban is effective because the owners would have to hire their own boats to land the pests. (Although knowing the fucked-up logic of dog-owners, I’ll bet some do.)

Ah, I’ll have another paragraph of this. No fucking dogs.

That’s better. I’m quite ranted out now.

What else was there? Fantastic close-ups of sandwich terns, red squirrels of course, a raven or two (which unhappily did for the nesting egrets a while ago but the egrets don’t need their base camp any more), a splendid black-tailed godwit and plenty of the usual suspects – all in a great setting.

Poole Harbour is so un-English. I was reminded in turn of California and the Riviera. Money, naturally, helps to splendify the area – no tower blocks or caravan parks in that little neck of the world. And water. That helps San Francisco, Sydney, Singapore and so on.

Marvellous, marvellous, marvellous. Get over there. It’s only a fiver from Sandbanks. (Just leave Fido at home.)

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