I am writing this on a single carriage train somewhere between Derby and Crewe. This weekend I travelled back to the East Midlands to celebrate my brother’s 30th birthday in his lovely new house. Needless to say that his lovely new house has now has a much dirtier floor, but other than that I think it escaped any party damage!
It was well into the afternoon before I could emerge from my den. My Dad picked me up to take me down to the local gravel pits in Long Eaton so we could try out his newly purchased scope.
The gravel pits have changed so much since I used to walk my dog there when I was younger. The hedgerows have matured and the pits themselves have multiplied and all turned into lakes teeming with bird life. The two slices of toast I’d managed to get down me moments before did nothing to insulate me – it was bloomin freezin! Flipping back the mitten part of my gloves to fiddle with the scope was dreadful, especially as I was still feeling a bit worse for wear!
Although cold, it was a beautiful afternoon (I hear the morning wasn’t too bad either!) and we saw loads of lovely birdies. There were tonnes of Fieldfare coating the bushes and the tracks and plenty of birds on the water which, aided by Dad’s new scope, we were able to identify as Tufted duck, Coots, Mallard, Mute Swans, Canada Geese, Black-headed Gulls, Pochards and Gadwall. Above, in the skies we saw Cormorants, a Grey Heron, Woodpigeons and Goldfinch. While the trees contained Blue Tits, Blackbirds, Rook and Jackdaw. My Dad tells me there was an Egyptian Geese nest there earlier in the year. I had previously caught up with these at the adjoining Attenborough Nature Reserve run by the Nottingham Wildlife Trust in Feb.
So I had a very enjoyable bit of bonding time with my Dad and we worked out his new scope so hopefully he’ll be getting out and about and using it!
I’ve had a great response about the birdrace in the first week of Feb (if you don’t know about it please read the post entitled “I propose a Birdrace”). If you are thinking of taking part put a date in your diary and don’t forget to let me know when and where you’re doing it and who is in your team. I am hoping that local teams will be able to meet up on Sunday 5th in a central location to find out how everyone got on and perhaps for a spot of food!
Hope you’re not too cold wherever you are!