Beautiful weather here in sunny yorkshire, we had purchased a group on offer for Old Moor RSPB nature reserve which we wanted to use yesterday but with the washing machine saga we got side tracked!
The new washing machine arrived this morning leaving us with a free day so we packed a picnic and set off. Bailey chose to stay home and finish revising for tomorrow's exam, which was a shame but totally understandable given how close to the end he is.
The staff at Old Moor are fantastic, so enthusiastic and knowledgeable about which parts of the reserve to see which wildlife. So nice to meet people that enjoy their jobs so much, the lady that helped us today was actually a volunteer and really well informed.
They have a school of eels in reception which were very cool:
They were only tiny, the lady told us they will eventually go to the River Severn in Bristol when their much bigger.
We were given backpacks containing binoculars, magnifying glass, bug jar with magnifying lid, paper, crayons, and a stethoscope to listen to the trees!
We also got a pond dipping kit for each child so we headed straight for the ponds!
Cordelia, Ruben and Hubby caught between them (although not clear on this photo really!): water mite, Pond skater, Snails, Leech, Dragonfly larvae, Mayfly larvae, Caddis fly, Damselfly:
There are lots of hides around so you can sit and look for different bird species, the first one we came to was the Bittern hide, Bittern's are very rare birds and this is the third year the nesting pair have chosen Old Moor. Sadly we couldn't see them, their notoriously shy birds!
As it was way past our usual lunch time we found one of the many picnic benches to have our lunch. Plenty of time for some sibling photos:
The view from one of the hides, very noisy seagulls here! We were looking for Sand Martins but didn't spot any...
The family hide was my favourite, lots of chairs, a chalkboard and lots of little tables for children. Ruben and I had great fun playing with the stethoscope listening to each other's heart beats and testing it on daddy :) Cordelia took some wonderful photos and Piper got to high level on a game on her phone-teenagers!
Here's Ruben seeing how big his wingspan is:
Putting the paper and crayons to good use, Cordelia actually drew a lovely horse not the wildlife :) and we had this wonderful home ed moment when Ruben drew (he hardly ever draws at the moment sadly) Hawkeye and Black Widow and then wrote their names on the picture with no spelling help!!!!!!! This from the boy who has taught himself to read, write and now spell!! I'm just in awe of the amazing abilities of children to learn things in their own time. Not going to forget that moment EVER, left a wonderful feeling in my stomach...
It was really hot so we headed to the cafe, our voucher for entry which bought from Groupon also included a free hot drink for both adults, so whilst hubby and I indulged our caffeine addiction, the girls and Ruben settled on ice cold cans of pop.
Time for half an hour in the playground:
Our second playground trip this week :)
We left just in time to head to Cordelia's horse riding lesson which due to the fabulous weather was in the outside arena, one very happy girl on her favourite horse :)
A really chilled but fun family day.