Sunday 28 February 2021

Spring Arrives to the Wolds.

Another weekly escape from Grimsby to give the car a run and for some different scenery.  And what a beautiful day it turned out to be: warm and spring-like, although the very high pressure air made for somewhat hazy conditions.  The chill easterly wind made it cool in the shade but we were nearly sunbathing in the shelter from the breeze.  Walking up from our parking spot past Cadeby Farm we were delighted again to both hear and see the raven that seems to have set up territory over the Valley Wood.  Their call is a joyous cronking and they reall do seem to play as they tumble in the sky above the wood.  We were pleased as well to hear the yaffle of a green woodpecker.  Lesser celandine was in flower and wild arum leaves were poking through.  Hawthorn buds are swelling and they will soon be in leaf.  Bumble bees and ladybirds were also on the wing.

After our walk we went on to Scallows to deliver a framed picture and to admire the wonderful display of snowdrops and aconites.  Bird life was busy in the wood; we heard a greater spotted woodpecker drumming and a buzzard was perched in a tree close to the hide.

  • Raven
  • Linnet
  • meadow pipit
  • yellowhammer
  • skylark
  • wood pigeon
  • blackbird
  • green woodpecker
  • jackdaw
  • crow
  • greater spotted woodpecker
  • buzzard
  • black headed gull
  • dunnock
  • blue tit 
  • great tit 
  • nuthatch
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Saturday 20 February 2021

My First Stonechat on the Horsefield

 A fellow birder alerted me to the fact that there was a stonechat on the Horsefield, so this morning I set out to try to find it.  It was a very mild morning and while I was out if came quite bright for a brief spell.  On the way across the hedge was full of the usual sparrows and flocks of chaffinches, yellowhammer and reed bunting and another of all goldfinches.  On the Horsefield I found the stonechat straight away and what a perky confiding bird it was.  I was delighted as it is my first stonechat on the patch.

After securing some photos I went for a walk around the rest of the site, picking up a fox skull for my collection at home.  Back at the stonechat, it performed yet again, allowing for more photography and, while I was stalking it, I flushed a woodcock from the long grass.  I am not sure which was more alarmed; the bird or me.

I was also pleased to see (and hear) three singing skylarks, spring is definitely on the way.  Bullfinches were also in the hedge but not showing well enough for photography, sadly and it was a delight to hear a song thrush singing its twice over song.

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Friday 19 February 2021

A Late Walk Around the Horsefield.

 Today has been one of mostly pottering around and playing with images on the computer.  However, in the afternoon, the sky cleared and we decided to go for a late walk around the Horsefield for the sunset.  The days are noticeably lengthening now; lighter mornings and sunset at 5.15 and still reasonably light at 5.45 when we got home.  It was a beautiful, if chilly, late afternoon and we enjoyed our walk and the regular chat with the 'dog lady'.

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Monday 15 February 2021

Bird Photography Walk Around the Cemetery and Horsefield.

 A longer walk today.  After a circuit of the woodland burial ground I left by the crematorium entrance and crossed Peaks Parkway to access the farm tracks around to Peaks Tunnel and over into the Horsefield, returning home over the stubble/oil seed rape field and the hole in the fence.  The usual birds were in evidence and just past the YMCA on the flooded field blackheaded gulls were beginning to get amorous, although still in winter plumage.  The birding highlights were the woodcock that flew out of the woodland burial ground and out onto the Horsefield, shortly followed by the two snipe that I flushed on the old barley stubble.  Here, also, in the hedge and ditch were large numbers of buntings and finches; mainly chaffinches but with yellowhammers and reed buntings amongst them.  Again I couldn't resist photographing the starlings on the way back through the estate.

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Friday 12 February 2021

An Escape to the Wolds

 Needing to take the car for its weekly run to keep the battery topped up, we decided to escape for a walk in the Wolds.  Parking in the middle of nowhere to avoid villages and people we walked a favourite route on the edge of the Wolds overlooking the coastal marsh.  There is still plenty of snow about and there was a biting easterly wind.  The temperature last night was -5.5, the coldest night for ten years, according to the Grimsby Weather station.  Stopping for a flask of hot chocolate and a piece of christmas cake in the wood it was good to see lords and lady leaves showing now among the snowdrops.  In this week of snow it has been fascinating to see the evidence of nightly activity in the animal tracks: deer, rabit, fox and a variety of birds.  One highlight of the walk was the sound of the raven cronking that is usually around the wood.  I have reports of several that have been seen in the Wolds now.

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