Ash Bank

Ash saplings
Ash sapling on the banking behind the Dam Inn.

treesWE SAW two great-crested grebes the last time we walked by the lake at Newmillerdam but I’m sorry not to spot them today. I hope they’re nesting in some hidden backwater. Much in evidence are the black-headed gulls, every one of them now in breeding plumage.

In our back garden this afternoon the grey male sparrowhawk zooms into the bottom of the hedge. Twenty or thirty seconds later he pops up again from our neighbour’s side arcing over so swiftly that for a moment he’s flying upside down.

Emerging unsuccessfully again from our neighbour’s side he leaves the hedge with nothing, sitting for a few minutes on next door’s sumac. If it wasn’t being anthropomorphic, I’d say that there was distinct look of grumpiness in his hunched silhouette.

He flies over the corner of the meadow to the wood, putting up a flock of goldfinches and sending the wood pigeons into clattering panic from the ivy-covered ash trees.

wood pigeonThe ivy berries on next door’s front garden fence must be at their best because for much of the day a wood pigeon is contentedly eating them.

blue titThe blue tits are showing an interest again in the nestbox on the back of house.

mole hill

With the snow gone and the pheasants and wood pigeons trampling the border beneath the bird feeder I was beginning to think that all mole activity had ceased. Late this afternoon the mole started re-excavating its tunnel system and we watched as it piled up the earth by the edge of the lawn, obviously coming very near the surface but never once showing itself.


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