Friday, 5 September 2008

Friday 5th.September 2008

I thought I was not going to get out today , but then , just before half past three , the rain stopped , and the sky lightened . I didn't need a second offer , I was up and out . Given the forecast , I thought , keep close to home . I set off through the local wood , and headed for the bridleway acoss what used to be a working farm with a milking herd . Those days are gone now , the only animals seen , are when sheep are put on to graze , after a hay crop has been harvested . Near the old milking parlour , I found a pair of Rose Ringed Parakeets , perched high in a Walnut tree , the one that a pair used to nest in two years ago . Last year , the nested in a close by Ash , but I am not sure were they nested this year . It was the same area where I photographed the Swallows on the wires the other day , but there was no sign of any hirondine today . As I walked down the bridleway , the sky partially opened , and a welcome patch of sunshine cheered things up . Close to where I found Elder in flower , I found Blackberries in flower , green fruit and gone over fruit , all on the same bush , strange . On the wires further down , a Kestrel perched motionless , watching intently below . In a flash , it swooped to the ground , but I could not see if it was successful . It rose again , and this time settled in an Oak on the other side of the field . As I exited the bridleway onto the lane , the residue water , with no drains on the lane , was rushing along in a mini torrent . I reached the next footpath , and noticed that the Kestrel had followed me into the adjoining field , but was quickly seen off by two Carrion Crows .
A little way down the footpath , I found a pair of Holly Blues , feeding on the Ivy wrapped around a scrub Elm . One immediately flew to the top of the Elm , but the other , looking rather battered , posed on the adjacent nettles . Whilst photographing this insect , both Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers called out .
In the adjacent field , I heard a Magpie call , but as I got further down the path , I could see that it was five Magpies , foraging in the recently cut meadow .

About half way down the footpath , my eye was drawn to a movement 10 mtrs. in front of me . As I closed the distance between us , the subject made no effort to move off . Soon , there was very little distance between us , and I could see it was a juvenile Robin , just starting to get it's adult red breast . It took no notice of me , and carried on fossicking along the path in front of me . This went on for 10/15 mtrs. , when it decided it wanted to go back the way it had come , but I was in the way . So , it hops up onto a fence post and waited for me to pass it , at a distance that I could have touched it . Once I was past , it hopped off the post and carried on fossicking .

At the bottom of the footpath , I returned to a lane and traffic . Alongside which , were further signs , if needed of the approaching autumn . These would make a liquer , when added to Gin to keep the Winter away . Another sign was Acorns falling in the wind , now gusting again , and the threat of rain was returning .
You have to be careful walking this lane , as , when the scrap metal prices shot through the roof , several of the manhhole covers disappeared overnight , leaving a definite hazard for walkers and drivers alike . Fortunately , none were missing today .
Nearly home now , and at a row of Horse Chestnut trees , conkers are already falling , and the 'sticky buds' are already sticky . For those who don't know , Horse Chestnuts get their name from the scar left by last year's leaf , a hoof shaped mark , complete with nail holes .
Several White sp. butterflies were seen on the walk , but impossible to identify because of the wind , and also 4 Speckled Woods .
As I re-entered my road , the clouds had really closed in again , and the sun was once again a memory . Within minutes of getting in , spots were appearing on the windows , but I had had an hour plus walk , and was treated to a couple of minutes of magic with that young Robin .

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