Friday, 31 May 2013

A shift of focus

Facing a few weeks of immobility owing to a ruptured achilles, I'm not going to be able to do much walking, birdwatching or photography for a while. So I'm going to have to find ways to enjoy wildlife at a somewhat more local level.

This afternoon I lay on the lawn and just watched one patch of earth for half an hour, which I probably haven't done since I was a kid. So much to see - ants, mites, caterpillars, spiders, worms, beetles, grubs, all crawling around amongst the grass - I'm sure there'll be plenty to keep me occupied for a while!

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Oh to be in England...

DSCF4521....Oh, I am. I probably think it each year, but May is proper amazing. Life is literally springing out all around, and the absolute fecundity of nature is unmissable.

Today we walked to and then along the river Yare, from Claxton Marshes to Langley, then back in via a small copse of ancient woodland. Even the most oblivious would have been tripping over wildlife at every turn as the warmth of the sun finally has seen off winter's lingering chill. We saw an abundance of birds (such as the now returned swifts barelling along the dykes and river, a raft of greylag and their goslings, buzzard, kestrel & harrier), mammals (Chinese water deer, weasel, hares) and insect-life (speckled wood and orange tip butterflies among others). And the hedgerows and verges are still a-buzz with queen bumblebees establishing new nests .

Bluebell woodBut as well as the fauna, one of the true delights of this time of year is just being in sun-dappled woodland, before the leaf canopy has grown over completely, allowing bluebells, campion and orchids enough light to thrive and provide a naturally beautiful carpet. Accompanied by the day-long symphony of chiff-chaffs, tits, robins and other birds, it is absolutely heaven just to be in such dwindling habitats as our ancient woodland. With the march of ash dieback and oak processionary moth, it may be a pleasure that future generations may only get to enjoy partially.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Duncan Notes

Excited about time lapse cameras. Steve at work has heard the first cuckoos this week. A tawny owl landed on the phone wire outside the boys bedroom window yesterday to much excitement. The trees are in blossom, still no swifts, the guinea pigs have escaped again and the birds start tweeting in the morning at 3.58am.