Two good running days yesterday and today.
Alas yesterday, after running out to Hawton then across to Farndon, I found that Willow Holt was closed for Haymaking and cleaning up Dog Mess - ugh, bloody nature reserve and still folk can't clean up after their dogs. I saw a few Dragonflies about on the cut across to Farndon, but strangely none by the river, which seemed to be being readied for some exciting World Team Cup of fishing.
Haven't seen any sign of the opening ceremony on television though! On the reach opposite the Power Station, someone was catching a beautiful 5 pound or so Barbel, greeny silver sides, vermillion fins. I'm not massively keen on coarse fishing, but it was a pleasure to see such an attractive fish. On the whole it was a good run along the river, about 8 miles, and the sun shone and the fields glistened.
Today, not long back from a run out to Beacon Hill park, the clay lane, back of estate way. First sight of a flock of Long Tailed Tits on the cycling path, not seen any of those for a while, and a Comma butterfly obligingly allowed itself to be photographed at the entrace.
Someone put on a real star show for me today, as I ran along the main grassland of Beacon Hill reserve; a Kestrel was hunting low down, barely 10 feet off the ground and no more than twenty metres away. Never seen one so close, hovering in that characteristic fashion, occasionally dropping to the ground before flying up again, empty taloned. Have never seen one working the reserve before, and was very glad to see it today, working East to West across the plateau. Wonder what lives in the grass up there - voles and field mice I guess. No rabbits to be seen at the moment, which is very unusual.
A Southern Hawker (I'll keep calling them that) flew alongside me as I ran, looking rather a sad, dull blue in the grey cloud that came over at that point. I wasn't sad though, it was a lovely early afternoon to go running.
I know so many nice places round here. And you don't!