Wednesday, 29 April 2020

The Garden after a Night of Rain.

After 3mm of rain last night, the garden looked much fresher.  I began my day taking some garden photographs.  It is looking lovely.
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A late Walk around the Woodland Burial Ground in the Rain

I decided on a late afternoon potter around the woodland burial ground to see how spring was progressing.  I saw nothing much of note and it was definitely raining when I got home.  The trees and most definitely greening up now, though, and hawthorn is well in blossom.
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Monday, 27 April 2020

Sunniest April on Record

Despite it being another overcast morning, it has, in fact been the sunniest April on record.  The land in our area is bone dry and I wait for calls of drought.  Amidst the constant news about the coronavirus crisis (and this is understandable) there is no mention whatever of the climate emergency which still goes on.  I have a theory that the pandemic, climate emergency and catastrophic  depletion of species in the natural world are all part and parcel of the same thing: human arrogance and the fact that our race thinks that it can treat the planet and environment as it pleases.  Without  globalisation and cheap world travel the virus may not had had worldwide spread at all.  During the world lockdown we are seeing drastic reductions in air and water pollution.  The air is much cleaner because we now have no aircraft polluting our atmosphere and in Venice fish can once more be seen in the canals as the polluted water clears.  Most people, I feel, just want it all to be over so we can can return to normal, but  "There can be no return to normal because normal was the problem in the first place!"  I truly hope that when this is all over the world will take stock and there will be drastic changes made to the way we live our lives.

On a more positive note In the afternoon I went for my usual walk around the Horsefield.  On the bird front I saw all of the usual suspects and noted for the first time that the hedgerow crow is now sitting on eggs.  There were large numbers of linnets around and chiffchaff and willow warblers singing. I noticed for the first time a large flock of house sparrows in the bramble hedge and I photographed one male which was carrying food.  By the cemetery gate I surprised a fox, but it slunk off before I could photograph it.  There were far more butterflies in evidence today including small tortoiseshell, peackock, comma, lots of orange tips and a pristine red admiral - an early migrant, perhaps?  I also found a beefly which was good and my first common vetch.  It was good to see a kestrel too.
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Beefly
Comma
Dandelion
Hawthorn
Hawthorn
Hawthorn
House Sparrow carrying food.
Male Linnet
Magpie
Male Orange Tip
Red Admiral
The Horsefield is greening up
The Horsefield is greening up
The Horsefield is greening up
Yellowhammer
Yellowhammer

Sunday, 26 April 2020

A Trip to the Seaside

It was a day for cycling to day and still keen to ride off road I harnessed up the Stumpy again and Heather and I set off across the Horsefield and on to Waltham from where we managed to follow a single track through superb woodland to Humberston Avenue.  Here off road plans were thwarted by the building of a new housing estate so we continued along the avenue to get to Humberston and South Sea Lane which led us down to the Thorpe Park on the Fitties.  Normally you would expect to have South Sea Lane to yourself but today it was like Picadilly Circus; in fact, probably busier.  Turning south we headed along the bridleway backing the golf course until we could make directly for the sea bank overlooking Tetney Marshes where we paused for some refreshment.  It was good to be able to gaze out over the marshes to the distant sea after so long with no coastal views.  Skylarks were displaying and several little egrets were feeding in the pools and creeks.  From the lake we rode through Thorpe Park and then along the front to Buck Beck car park which was surprisingly crowded!!   Now our route took us along Buck Beck by the side of the country park.  From the road we were able to make our way back through Weelsby Woods where we had good views of Jay, back across the Horsefield and home.

As it was a really warm evening and an overcast night forecast I set up the moth trap.  When I opened it at 5.30 the next morning it had,in fact, been my best night so far with 10 individuals: two pugs that flew before I could identify or photograph them and 8 shuttle-shaped darts; 1 female and 7 males.
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Lunch overlooking Tetney Marsh
Anthony's Bank

Anthony's Bank
Heading towards Cleethorpes
Female Shuttle-Shaped Dart
Male Shuttle-Shaped Dart

Female Shuttle-Shaped Dart
Female Shuttle-Shaped Dart
Male Shuttle-Shaped Dart

Male Shuttle-Shaped Dart

Saturday, 25 April 2020

Ornamental Rhubarb in the Garden.

I'm loving our ornamental rhubarb as the flower stalk grows and the flower begins to open.

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Friday, 24 April 2020

A Wonderful Early Morning on the Horsefield

A bit of a false start this morning.  I got up at 6.00 am all ready for an early start and was somewhat disconcerted to find it misty; no good at all for photographing birds.  As it happened though, by the time I was ready to leave at 7.45, the sun had put in an appearance.  Grabbing the fuji with birding lens attached and my bins, I set off for the Horsefield.  There was much more activity going on than I had seen so far this spring.  I immediately found Nigel's whitethroat from yesterday and it sang and performed well in the first hedge.  Not only that but I found a second singing male in the middle hedge - great news.  Yellowhammers presented well as always and I was amazed at the large numbers of linnets busying about noisily, making their grumpy sounding calls.  Many are paired up now and I watched one pair courtship feeding while another two pairs were busily collecting nesting material.  Although I didn't manage any photographs there were two or three willow warblers holding territory in the woodland burial ground and singing lustily along with a similar number of chiffchaffs.  I was very pleasantly surprised at the number of skylarks in evidence singing both hanging suspended in mid-air and also from the ground.  There must be 3 or 4 singing males holding territory in the first meadow.

By 9.45, I was getting ready for a coffee and began to turn for home.  On the banks of Gooseman's drain though I came across a male orange tip on the wing which was very pleasing and, even better, a pair of blackcaps.  Although I only secured a record shot of the male bird, I am sure that with patience I shall find them here again.

All in all an excellent morning!


  • Blackbird
  • Crow
  • Willow Warbler
  • Chiffchaff
  • Whitethroat x2
  • Linnet
  • Skylark
  • Robin
  • Magpie
  • Wren
  • Reed Bunting
  • Blackcap
  • Dunnock
  • Bullfinch
  • Orange tip
  • Peacock
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Male balckcap

Bullfinch female

Bullfinch female

Female linnet collecting nesting material

Female linnet collecting nesting material

Male linnet

Male linnet

Male Linnet

Skylark

Skylark

Whitethroat

Whitethroat

Yellowhammer