Saturday, 7 April 2012

Heavy metal drumming

Many months ago when I asked my sister what she wanted for her birthday she said nothing, followed by, you could tidy my garden up at Easter. Why did I say OK?  So yesterday was spent away from Waldridge tidying up a front garden the size of a postage stamp but full of hidden paving slabs and a very well established patch of mint that was intent on taking over the world. It took us all day.
This morning should have seen me out and about early, before my duties of shopping and talking a wild cat to the vets for the first time. But instead, first thing this morning I couldn't move, every muscle in my body ached, my early morning jaunt didn't happen

It was not until late afternoon that I managed to get out for a walk. It was, and had been dull and grey with the threat of rain all day so any butterflies were out of the question. A few birds were about. I did find a Tawny Owl found roosting in South Burn Wood, shown to me by several local Blackbird and Mistle Thrush that were very unhappy he was there.No singing Blackcaps or Willow Warblers despite them being about elsewhere but 8 singing Chiffchaffs were 'zilp-zalping' away.

Chiffchaff on the fell

Primroses on the fell
Still no Green Woodpeckers either but Great Spotted Woodpeckers were around, for as well as the usual one in the paddock, there were 2 drumming in of the Woods and and another two on the fell.  As I headed back through the woods I flushed a Woodcock that was right by the main path and must have just moved because I approached it from the other side. Dozens of people will have passed by it today, as I assume it had been there since dawn. One of the woodpeckers was drumming very loudly, and the closer I got the more metallic it sounded. As I approached a pair of telegraph poles,  I found him. Right at the very top, drumming, not on the wooden pole but on the metal cap on top of one of them. This hard-head was crashing his bill against a piece of steel, the things males do to impress the girls. 
Only a few hoverflies were buzzing about together with a few Bumblebees today

Large Red-tailed Bumblebee

but the only ones of the former I managed to id were Eristalis tenax in the Garden,

 together with a Tawny Mining Bee.

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