Waddesdon Manor was the venue for our annual Staff Social day out. This plush country house in Buckinghamshire is the ancestral seat of those bankers, the Rothschilds. Built in the Neo-Renaissance style of a French chateau by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild, it came in very handy for entertaining house parties and for showing off his fine collections of art.
Baron Ferdy originally bought it as a farming estate from the Duke of Marlborough (thanks to a hefty inheritance from his father) and he set about transforming the site with lavish gardens and an aviary.
The last member of this illustrious family, James de Rothschild, bequeathed the house and its contents to the National Trust and is one of their most visited properties.
It was the hottest day of the year (Scorchio!) and the food festival was in full swing as our coach set down and set forth the staff. The cider tent was a particular favourite…
The hot weather continued into the following week, which meant our regular visit to the Aegon Classic did not involve as much scurrying to the beer tent whenever rain threatened.
Thus we managed uninterrupted tennis on the first day and enjoyed four decent contests:
Naomi Osaka (Jpn) beat Laura Davis (USA) 6-1, 2-6, 7-6
Barbara Strycova (Cze) beat Yulia Putinteva (Kaz) 6-3, 6-3
Elina Svitolina (Ukr) beat Heather Watson (Gbr) 6-2, 5-7, 6-3
Naomi Broady (Gbr) beat Alize Cornet (Fra) 7-6, 6-0
Nature Notes Warning:
Frampton Marsh was to be the venue for the season finale of the West Midland Bird Club.
Frampton is one of many coastal wetland reserves where seeing anything ornithological is merely a bye-the-bye bonus to accompany a brilliant walk. However, high vantage walks look out across the Wash and inland views take in reedbeds, freshwater scrapes and marshy fields. With a new digital camera making its juddering debut, I blurred fairly decent views of Corn Buntings, Avocets, Lapwings, Yellowhammers, Reed and Sedge Warblers and Spotted Redshank – plus a pair of loved-up Spoonbills.
There are some great photos on the official Frampton Marsh website, which I’ve included here plus my own meagre offerings and a classic photo fail!
And if we are on the cute chick photos, we cannot fail to show these reed warblers (though they may want to improve on their toilet training!). Photo by Paul Sullivan
And these photos are by Neil Smith:
The parents are busy looking after their young. You don’t get more protective than avocets, who chase off things which might want to eat their chicks…
…and those that wouldn’t, but just get a little too close