Sunday, 22 January 2017

The Redwing have come to Town!

You may remember that recently I posted that the conotoneaster trees on the little local park near where I live hadn't been getting any avian visitors at all, and were still absolutely shining with berries.

Well, that's changed.

The local feather faces have more or less cleaned out every other berry laden tree in town, and now those berries they were ignoring a couple of weeks ago are now getting snaffled up.

Among the visitors are small flocks of redwing, who presumably driven out of the countryside by the recent cold spells, have decided to move into town in search of easier pickings. Over the last few days, flocks of about 15-20 birds have appeared in the park, perching not with the berries but high up in the other trees, before making occasional low level raids to feed.

Usually, every time I go to fetch my camera they fly off, but not today. Only a few birds today, but this time, they co-operated, if not closely.

No waxwing yet though.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 22.01.17

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Turning a Run into a Walk

I've got an idea for another day out for folk at work, taking them on a little walk around the nature reserves of Farndon, the River Trent and back to Newark again.

Rather like the charity cycle ride I did, but without the hassles of asking folk to get sponsorship or anything like that. I just want it to be a nice day out, involving a pub stop and cups of tea in the cafe at the beginning in the end. Whoever wants to come, will come.

I'm looking to arrange it for April, when the spring flowers are out, the birds are singing a little more, AND THERE IS A LOT LESS MUD ON THE TRACKS.

Because it was really muddy out there today, through the Willow Holt and along the wonderfully named "Baggarley Rack" section of the river. Luckily my traillies can just about handle it.

I'm hoping I've found a nice little 10km route for them away from main roads, past attractive bodies of water where today I saw a kingfisher flying and a cormorant sitting in a tree. There was waterfowl on the water and in people's gardens along the bank, the skies were grey but there were plenty of folk out walking and enjoying themselves.

And a lot of dogs that won't be allowed to go into the lounge until they've had a bath.

I ended up going 13km in the end, enjoying a cup of tea at Rumbles and wondering how well I might be able to persuade my colleagues to take in the route...


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 21.01.17

Friday, 20 January 2017

More Rupertian Signs

As promised, I've moved into the pub interior to catch their metallic beauty and catchy slogans from a time where liver failure and cancer were concepts either totally unknown, or totally covered up.

Also they illustrate the innate conservatism of the country, the fact that Craven A cigarettes "Never vary" is seen as a positive thing, even though their major inertia is due to them never varying in their ability to clog up lungs.

There's a lot of money on these walls, that's for sure. Some of these signs would go for a fair whack to collectors, appreciative of their vivid colours that you just don't seem to get on modern signage.

Bit like bicycles I suppose. Steel carries colour better than aluminium for some reason.

This morning was freezing but beautiful as I rode into work. A waxing half moon looked down on a ground hugging mist, through which the teasels prortuded like fossilised trees. Lovely.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 20.01.17

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Getting Faster Getting Fatter

After a weekend of eating healthily, feeling good and somehow feeling a stone lighter, a couple of days back at work and I feel like a beach ball again.

I wonder if the Teriyaki noodle type things I have for lunch are not helping! In addition, I am a bad eater anyway. I admit it.

But if my figure isn't good, then my running is going very well. Tonight, I did 7.0km in 35.12, which by my standards is really shifting. It was dark, slightly damp, and my radio wasn't working - new earphones barely lasted despite being so called "sport" ones. Despite that I was still able to give it a really good thrash.

I'm rather faster moving than these horses, as ever trundling around their empty field. At least they are well fed and watered, even if they don't have any proper shelter. More than can be said for a lot of horses round here.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 18.01.17

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

The Signs of the Prince Rupert

It's been a frustrating couple of days, with the local internets (provided by a hymenally unbroken company) having been completely down as if we were in the Faeroe Islands or somewhere. Ha, they probably had a better service there.

I've been keeping busy in the grey and wet weather, getting some good runs in and failing to photograph teasing redwings as they flew off everytime I went back to my flat to get my camera, returning only when I had put it away.

Wretched things.

The light and weather has been so awful that there hasn't been much to photograph other than acres of mud. So let me bring you a bit of old school colour, courtesy of the signs found in the Beer Garden of the Prince Rupert. I have always loved the slogan "Ovum for Poultry", a rallying call for sterile chickens everywhere.

I bet you don't get much "Black-a-Moor" on sale either these days.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 17.01.17

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Flying High

The gry, mizzly but mild day has had a soporific effect on me; it has been difficult to muster much energy to do anything, yet again.

But still, I've run 11km which sounds perfectly acceptable to me, did a 10km within 1 hour as part of that which is pretty good going. It was real old school cross country mud on my usual route today, a real slog in places and in the flat light there wasn't much to see.

One fellow had taken the obvious solution the mud, and decided to fly above it. This green paraglider is a familiar sight over South Newark in warmer months, but I'm rather surprised to see it out today.

It must provide wonderful views of the town. I wonder where it launches from?


All text and  images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 15.01.17

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Failed Waxwing Hunt

So this afternoon, with reports of Waxwings all over the country, I decided to have a run out on a beautiful afternoon with the intention of finding some.

I ran round both lakes, along the cycle track, through Friary Gardens home of the Aconites, and all round Waitrose car park; indeed anywhere there were berries on trees. Of waxwing there was NO BLOODY SIGN!

No doubt they were all hiding somewhere, stifling their giggles with wings over their beaks.

Luckily on such a bright afternoon there were plenty of lovely sights, and I was rewarded on returning home to find that a pretty flock of about 20 redwing were visiting the small park near my flat; they really are very dainty little thrushes,

In addition, a few bulkier forms were among them; fieldfare.

First time either winter thrush has visited town this winter.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 14.01.17